By: Robyn Burns, Program Director
Last month, we were thrilled to share that CitySprouts was heading to Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s School Garden Conference: Beyond Education. Executive Director Jane Hirschi gave the keynote, while Garden Coordinators Shay Chess and Jack Leng led a workshop, “Art, Math, Science & Native Pollinators!” The conference was a great opportunity for CitySprouts to learn from peers, share our program model and to forge a deeper connection to the regional network of school garden-based organizations. The School Garden Conference was one of CitySprouts’ many program highlights from the past year.
CitySprouts’ two unique programs, School Partnership and Middle School, are each part of exciting and distinct peer networks that work locally, regionally and nationally. In addition to our focus on garden-based learning in public schools, CitySprout’s programming intersects with a number of disciplines; including STEM education, food systems, early child education, youth development, social justice and urban horticulture. Over the past year, CitySprouts has engaged these various program areas numerous times, with each one of our staff and service members facilitating external trainings, workshops and presentations. These include:
- June 2016: 2 presentations at the National Farm to School Conference in Madison, WI
- Sep 2016: Training “Working with Teachers” for FoodCorps MA
- Oct 2016: Presentation at Farm Aid’s first-ever “Barn Raising” event and as part of the Wheelock College’s Curiosity and Learning Conference
- Nov 2016: Workshop at the MA Farm & Sea to School Conference, hosting a site visit for the Farm Based Education Network Gathering and a workshop at the Agenda for Children’s OST Symposium
- Dec 2016: Presentation at the School Garden Support Organization Leadership Institute
- Feb 2017: Keynote and workshop at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s School Garden Conference
- Mar 2017: Workshops at the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society (MEES) Conference and at the Trustees’ Annual Gardener Gathering
Additionally, this Spring CitySprouts is excited to be facilitating a webinar as part of the School Garden Support Organization, presenting to teachers at Lesley University and facilitating a workshop with peer middle school programs focused on STEM with Boston After School and Beyond.
As we reflect on these enriching opportunities, we look forward to strengthening CitySprouts’ core programs in Cambridge and Boston, while continuing to take a leadership role in the regional and national movements!