Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Volunteer Report: Ben

As part of the team's environmental sustainability mission, we have a pretty cool educational aspect to the program. Each team member is taking an active role in their own sustainability education and the sustainability of their community.

We have three components to this:
1) checking out something new to learn about...lecture, film, book, magazine article, etc.
2) volunteering for an organization in the community to help out and learn about something new.
3) school visits to local elementary and middle school students.

Anyways, I volunteer for a Boulder organization called Growing Gardens, since I like to garden and I think it is a great way to foster a sense of community and emphasize sustainability.

Growing Gardens oversees all the Community Garden projects in Boulder (I have a plot in the Holiday Community Garden, just a hundred yards from my house). They also run some really cool programs for kids. One of these, the Chidren's Peace Garden program, educates school groups and other community kids groups:

"Children learn about the source of the food that they eat, nutritional value of vegetables and the fundamentals of organic gardening practices. They experience activities and games designed to encourage peace, respect, environmental stewardship, and friendship." (www.growinggardens.com)

Last Friday I helped run a program for 60 second graders from Whittier Elementary in Boulder. The 2nd grade is doing a learning unit on the value of community, taking field trips to places in the community to see how all different types of people and places cooperate and help each other.

These classes came to the Hawthorn Greenhouse, and I got to lead one of the three educational stations. The kids got to tour the Hawthorn Community Garden, talk to gardeners and play some games to learn about gardening; they got to harvest arugula, cucumbers and tomatoes in the greenhouse and make a salad together and share a meal together; in my group, I tought the kids about the importance of community and cooperation, for people (making the garden and greenhouse happen) and also the plant/animal relationships in the garden. The kids also made some pretty cool seed mosaics for a craft project.

These kids were really pysched to learn about all the stuff in the garden and greenhouse, and many got to try arugula for the first time!

that's it for now...

Ben


1 comment:

Jeff in Houston said...

Arugula rox! We've got the lettuce wars going in our house: my wife likes iceberg and romaine; I used to hate salads but now I love arugula, radicchio and all those other weird greens.


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