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CSGN Meeting Notes - June 18, 2012

In attendance:

Lisa Preschel and Vanessa Carter - Occidental Arts and Eco Center
Whitney Cohen - Life Lab
Lauri Twitchell and Janet DeHaven - Blake Gardens
Park Guthrie - Oakland Unified School District
Stacey Slate and Emilie Gioia - Edible Schoolyard
Zach Pine - Nature Scuplptor
Leah Sokolofski - Berkeley Unified
Karen Mendelov Nelson and Joanna Totino - FOSS

CSGN Website Update:

·      The new site is live. You can register yourself and your organization on it. Commenting/rating functions are not yet working (or if they are, we're not clear yet on how to use them)

·      Questions/Ideas:

o   Edible Schoolyard also has a website where schools/people/orgs are registering. A great possibility would be to make it so that when you register on one, you show up on the other as well. Next step: John or Adam should talk with Stacey and Emilie about this possibility.

o   Do we want to collect % free/reduced lunch info when people register their schools/orgs?

o   Was there an official launch? Will there be? If there hasn't been, let's aim for fall, when teachers start back to school.

o   A great addition would be more helpful info on school garden finances, such as sample budgets for various materials, people, water, etc. Next steps: Survey what we know of that's out there (Funding page on CSGN, notes from Sustainability Summit, info in How to Start a School Garden, budget sheet from CSYSG workshop, info from CA school garden survey, etc.); collect new info via Edible Schoolyard's newsletter; and then, at our next meeting, compile what we've found into something worth sharing ... or determine what info we still need to gather.

o   CSGN web process has been frustratingly slow. What can be done?

 

Edible Schoolyard Website Overview:

Emilie and Stacey described the website, which includes a platform for people to upload, rate, and comment on lessons and best practices. Social network with national, and even international, scope. The audience can comment and flag inappropriate content, but they also read the new posts.

Green Ambassadors Overview:

Vanessa is the new director of education at OAEC, and she has been very involved in the Green Ambassadors Program in LA and SF. This program has a Green Section (Sustainability 101) and an Ambassador Section (Empowerment, how to market your agenda to an audience, etc). They are trying to determine how to share the curriculum that has, so far, been available exclusively to workshop participants.

Overview of Other Middle and High School Resources:

At the middle school level, programs are structured somewhat similarly to Elementary school programs, with students going out to the garden during science or other core classes. For high school programs in which we are involved, the students participate as part of an elective (i.e. Park's Urban Ecology class, which installs edible forests); as part of an on- or off-site internship program (i.e. Albany HS's Ed SET ecological restoration internships at Blake Gardens); as after school activities (as in cooking classes); or as paid, stipended work after school and in the summer (as in Life Lab's Food What?!)

Elementary: FOSS in School Gardens

Joanna Totino and Karen presented on FOSS outdoors. There are many free, online resources for connecting FOSS outdoors, and these will be integrated right into each FOSS unit in the next round. For now, you can find these activities and connections by searcing for Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS) on the FOSS website, and also by looking at fossweb.com, clicking on Beyond the Classroom tab in the bottom right-hand corner.

Karen is also an organizer of the Bay Area Environmental Ed Reource (BAEER) Fair, 3rd week in Jan. Contact her if you would like to present.

Next Meeting

Let's meet again in January, either at June Jordan in SF or at the Edible Schoolyard (Emilie can look into this possibility once we get closer and have a date in mind). Might also look for south bay option to continue aternating north and south. Topics of interest include:

  • Budgeting resources for school gardens (gather and assess sample budgets, ranges, etc. to share on CSGN.org)
  • Brainstorm untapped resource streams for funding school gardens
  • If we can get a tech person to the next meeting, wouldn't it be great to create an "Add to Cart" type of budgeting tool for school gardens?

 

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