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Greater Bay Area School Garden Regional Network Meeting at Collective Roots, East Palo Alto Charter School, Wednesday June 22nd, 12:30-3:30


Judee Hamburg - Slow Food, Fanny Watkins - Stanford Student/Collective Roots Intern, Anne Valva - OUSD, Anne Evans - Collective Roots, Marika Bergsund - Marin School Garden Newtork, Morten Nielsen - University College Denmark, Whitney Cohen - Life Lab, Abby Jaramillo - Urban Sprouts, Rachel Pringle - SFGSA, Arden Sporer - SFGSA, Susan Stansbury - Mountain View School District, Eron Sandler - Collective Roots, Kris Jensen - Collective Roots, Mike Sanderson - Living Classroom, John Fisher - Life Lab/ UCSC CASFS

12:00 - 12:30 Meet and Greet - Check out Garden
 We had a great tour of an incredible site, the Collective Roots garden.

12:30 Introductions and News and Events Updates
Announcements:
Engaging our Grounds - International Green Schoolyard Conference in San Francisco and Berkeley on September 16-18 - www.greenschoolyards.org

Susan Stansbury of Mountain View-Wiseman School District has created seasonal lesson plans tied to the cycle of the garden that will be available to share electronically.

Mike Sanderson of the Living Classroom, Los Altos has posted their 40+ lessons for their garden program on a wiki. Contact Mike to access the wiki msanderson@lasdschools.org

Life Lab is hosting a summer Growing Classroom Workshop on August 13-14 www.lifelab.org/gcworkshops

The County of San Mateo sends out health and wellness grant opportunities via email.

Marin has created the Marin School Garden Network - connecting those interested in school garden from their region. They can be found online at https://www.bigtent.com/groups/msgn this address might change in the future


1:00 Share CSGN.org development and discuss the input gathered from participants pre-meeting homework

CSGN (Western Growers Foundation) is in the process of staff changes and hiring a web staff person. Due to these factors there is not much to update regarding future steps for CSGN development. The following two sections of www.csgn.org were reviewed and discussed

● FAQ
We shared the draft content for the FAQ on CSGN.org
Rachel and Arden said they have some good information on funding a garden coordinator in their book that we could “borrow”- John will follow up with Rachel
Americorps volunteers were also mentioned as a good resource for staffing garden programs.
It was suggested to revisit the Sustainability Summit notes to see if their is content related to this subject. John will make the sustainability summit pages more accessible on the internet and will set up a GBARN web page
The American Community Gardening Association has a great guide on organizing community members that might be good to link to in the FAQ on getting started

● Funding Page


1:30 Committee Updates:

It was decided that having committees might not be the best idea for this busy group of people. Instead we decided that having meetings that provide updates, provide an opportunity to learn about each other’s programs, and that discuss particular topics through a facilitated manner would be more beneficial. The discussion topic items can help feed content for CSGN.org.

It was also noted the Patrick Archie from the Silicon Valley Health Trust/Santa Clara University can lend some staff time to help organize the work of South Bay Garden Based Learning. John will connect with Patrick

● Advocacy and Policy
Not much to discuss here but we did realize that this topic is huge and all different types of policy were mentioned from national farm to school policy to school site policy supporting garden programs.


● Assessment and Evaluation
CA School Garden Survey - John
CA School Garden survey data highlights were shared


● Curriculum and Best Practices
Review Curriculum lists
We reviewed a list of k-6 free online curricular resources and a list of secondary level curricular resources.
The following comments/suggestions were noted:
list on csgn in a Yelp or Amazon type reviewable format - then GBARN members can be assigned a few resources to review and comment online
add a column if the resource has standards correlations printed and specify grade level if possible
adding links to / resource lists related to FOSS would be great. Look for “Bringing FOSS outdoors” and the work by Tonya Mandel on using FOSS in the garden.
Add Life Lab’s Science Exploration Units, BackPocket Activity Videos, Mountain View Lessons, literature lists AHS and CFAITC
Look to the CA School Garden Survey Data to extract a list of resources used
Add good online newsletter resources that provide lesson content such as: NGA, Garden ABC, CFAITC, Life Lab, etc.


Abby led a community brainstorming lesson on collaborative problem solving. In small teams we discussed problems and solutions on the following topics. Each team member shared a solution and then a few of the solutions were shared with the whole group. Issues and solutions are listed below:

Notes from Community Learning Stations Activity
Outdoor Classroom Management ideas
Students manage themselves
opportunities for independence

2. Clear rules & expectations
for students and staff/teachers
have good adult: youth ratios

3. Tool shop management system
expectations, responsibility to the community

Teacher Communication ideas
1. Flyer for teachers
invitation to the garden
list of 10 simple things to do in the garden, like “read a book,” less formal ideas than a class

2. Parents are involved
create a binder/orientation so parents can help with garden coordination

3. Invite school to hold professional development or other meetings in the garden
try a scavenger hunt that teaches them about the garden

Lesson/curriculum planning ideas
Planning templates
theme-based
connect to standards
season-based

2. Searchable online database - all in one place
3. Literature lists
children’s book lists
ways for teachers to use the garden


2:45 Update on Block Grants that support the work we do
CSYSG Training Grant
If funded this grant would fund school garden support trainings and train the trainers
● Strengthening the Network in CSGN - thank folks for support letters
If funded this grant would fund $12,000 plus travel to 11 organizations to conduct school garden support and networking

We should know if October if these are accepted.

Potential Fundable Projects
Brainstorm:
1. What projects would be suitable for our group if we had money?
2. What are potential funding sources?
We did not discuss this item

3:15 Next Steps and Next Meeting
As mentioned above we decided that having meetings that provide updates, provide an opportunity to learn about each other’s programs, and that discuss particular topics through a facilitated manner would be more beneficial. The discussion topic items can help feed content for CSGN.org.
Something to think about - What is the best way to share the information we discuss?

Suggested topics for next meeting:
Year Round Planning
Funding a Garden Coordinator
(Recruiting Volunteers) for a future meeting

We decided to have a meeting in January at either Stop Waste in Oakland, UC Botanical Garden at UCB, or the Strybing SF. John will follow up with a Doodle and inquire on meeting locations.
 

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