Our vision for Central Oregon is a garden for every school, where teachers and students have access to an outdoor garden classroom that allows them to get hands on experience growing food. Last year, we launched a campaign to bring this vision to life through four core strategies. Thanks to overwhelming support from our community, we were able to hit our initial goal – and we accomplished a lot in just one year. We are grateful for the support that helped launch this vision. Thank you to all the donors, sponsors and partners who helped us get off the ground! We look forward to continued success this year.
Here are some highlights of what we’ve accomplished so far with your support:
Garden Educator Network
Launched the Network in Fall 2016 with a high quality, weekend long training to garden educators in fall 2016.
During the 2017/2018 school year, we have organized four Garden Educator Network gatherings at Elk Meadow Elementary, St. Francis School, Sisters Elementary and Three Rivers School.
Awarded $7,500 in grants to support seven school gardens in January 2018, including one in Burns. ($14,000 was requested from local schools.)
Outdoor garden projects include installing irrigation,building deer fencing, and improving outdoor classroom space.
Indoor projects include classroom growing, improved greenhouse production, and building indoor mobile garden carts.
FoodCorps Support for School Gardens
We became a FoodCorps service site and hired our first FoodCorps Service Member.
So far, she has reached approximately 400 students this school year. She has provided classroom garden and nutrition lessons to students at Sisters Elementary School, facilitating their lunchtime Garden Club and building an outdoor school garden; assisted Bear Creek Elementary School with weekly in school garden club lessons; and worked with the Three Rivers School Wellness Committee to develop their indoor garden cart project.
Our second FoodCorps Service Member starts in August!
Collaboratively developed a School Garden Application for the Bend LaPine School District to ensure school gardens are set up with long term sustainability in mind.
Additionally, we are now recognized by the State of Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Program as the Regional Hub Lead for Central Oregon. This role deepens our experience in the local, state, and national farm-to-school and school garden movement.