A few weeks ago, Crystal and I had the opportunity to attend a week long conference in Santa Cruz, California. The School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute was hosted by LifeLabs and one of our generous supporters, the Whole Kids Foundation. Over the course of the week we had the chance to network with 19 other school garden organizations from around the United States.
We spent the week in professional learning communities sharing success stories and challenges of schoolyard gardening. We brainstormed ways to make our programs better and we shared our favorite resources.
It was fun to share about the work we do here in Kansas City. People were amazed to hear about the scale of our program (200+ schools) and our staffing (3 full time staff, 1 AmeriCorps service member). We may be small, but we try to be mighty! However, we couldn’t have talked about our schools without giving shout-outs to all of the amazing volunteers who keep the gardens going—the teachers, school nurses, principals, custodians, social workers, after school coordinators, parents and more! Thank you!
Crystal and I went into the conference with a lot of goals and a problem-solving mindset, and walked away with a lot of energy, ideas and fresh resources. Kansas City Community Gardens has been doing Schoolyard Gardens for 10 years and we are excited to see where the next 10 years take us! We are grateful to get to garden with you all at your schools, and for this opportunity to take a weeklong course for professional development!
All that said, check your email for the spring order form at the end of this week! The snow is melting and hopefully the temperatures will start rising. We’ll be planting and growing again before we know it!