Last month, Denise Rowcroft, Sustainability Educator at The Environmental Center, received a Cooperator Award from Oregon State University Extension Association. She was nominated by local extension Nutrition Educators Katie Ahern, Ashley Joyce, and Kaitlin Greene for her work in Deschutes County.
As shared during the presentation, “OSUEA has recognized cooperators for more than 30 years. Each year individuals and businesses are recognized for the significant contributions that have made to extension programs. It is through these cooperators that extension is able to accomplish so much.”
Above photo: Denise is pictured with A. Scott Reed, Vice Provost and OSU Extension Service Director; and Wendy Hein, President of OSUEA.
A short excerpt from the awards presentation:
Denise Rowcroft is dedicated to connecting children to the basis of all life – food. She led the transformation of a vacant, weed-infested lot next to The Environmental Center into an outdoor classroom where children tend to the seeds they plant, make discoveries through observations and experiments, apply math and science skills, and get their hands dirty.
The OSU Extension Nutrition Education Program partners with Denise at The Environmental Center Learning Garden in sharing the growing cycle of plants to enjoying the garden bounty through nutrition education and recipe assembly. In partnership with Extension, Denise also created the regional School Garden Educators Network complimenting Extension work in healthy eating promotion at schools. Denise is changing the ways elementary schools are thinking about food, food systems, and learning, one school garden at a time.