My name is Mackenzie Haas and I am excited to announce that I am a Schoolyard Gardens Coordinator with KCCG. I am grateful for the opportunity to invest in my communities using sun, water and soil to expand access to healthy, fresh food throughout Kansas City.
Day to day you can find me taking pictures of flowers in my neighborhood, trying a new coffee shop, thrifting or visiting a museum. My soul is filled with a hike in the trees, the sound of chirping birds and fresh snow. I’ve always loved being outdoors and where a love for the sun sprouts, a garden is sure to grow.
I remember trying my first radish, straight out of the ground from my grandma’s garden. I crinkled my nose because it was “Ooo spicy!!!” and with a hot, grinning mouth I realized that was the spice of love, and little hard work. I was brought back to that moment of pure joy, strength, bravery and reward while helping some students harvest their own radishes this week. In just one week, I have helped build new garden beds, harvested with students and planted new seedlings.
I am inspired by the work our coordinators put into the gardens with their students. It is amazing to see educators, parents and volunteer coordinators opening up opportunities to teach about fresh food in and out of the classroom. These moments may seem small, but each wide-eyed grin after a snack from the garden helps plant a seed of knowledge around healthy lifestyle choices that can grow within each student as they do.
As a Schoolyard Gardens Coordinator it is my responsibility to ease the access to these tools necessary for student growth outside of the classroom. By planting the seeds now, I know I’ll soon uncover even more moments of pure radish-sized joy. I can’t wait to meet all of my schools and continue to empower our coordinators in their student engagement.
Being a part of a community that is engaging, collaborative and growth centered has made me a better educator and listener. I can’t wait for that to continue as I pass on my knowledge to schools across the metro and we all grow together.