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    Denver, Colorado July 11-13, 2013

    Session Descriptions

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    A1 | Enchanting Informal Programming

    Kathryn Clusman | Hershey Children’s Garden Manager | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH

    Creating self-guided and drop-in programs appropriate for younger audiences can be challenging. We’ll explore the entire process used by the staff of the Hershey Children’s Garden in Cleveland, Ohio, to create age-appropriate, content-rich, engaging experiences. First, we will look at daily programming - why and how it is implemented. We’ll then look at the different design processes used, and how they can each be beneficial based on specific activities and themes. Lastly, the group will use this information to work in teams and create new programming to take home and use for its audiences.

    A2 | Cultivating a Successful School Garden Network: Notes from Washington D.C.

    Sam Ullery | School Garden Specialist | Office of the State Superintendent of Education | Washington, D.C.
    Sarah Bernardi | School Garden Program Director | DC Greens | Washington, D.C

    Learn from the example of the D.C. School Garden Program, which partners with local garden-based community organizations to implement unique and effective school garden support programming for all school gardens in Washington, D.C. After hearing about how this network achieves success, participants will have the opportunity to share their own experiences and ask questions. You also will receive the school garden assessment tool currently used by the program to support DC school gardens and school garden case studies for each of the programs highlighted.

    A3 | Discover Fun and Interesting Fruits and Veggies for the Garden

    John Porter | Ag and Natural Resources Extension Agent | West Virginia University | Charleston, WV

    Discover great grains, fantastic fruits, versatile veggies, and more you might not have thought about growing. From grain-like quinoa with its bright rainbow plumes to tart lingonberries and spiny artichokes, there are plenty of fun and interesting crops that can add an extra element of excitement to engage youth. We’ll also look at activities and recipes that incorporate these more unusual plants.

    A4 | Benefits of School Gardens

    Mark Painter | Outdoor Science Lab Instructor | Stonewall Jackson Elementary | Dallas, TX
    Barbara Uskovich | 3rd Grade Science Teacher | Stonewall Jackson Elementary | Dallas, TX
    Ellen Pool | Teacher | Stonewall Jackson Elementary | Dallas, TX

    Using the model of the garden at Stonewall Jackson Elementary School, we’ll discuss the activities, curriculum, and lessons that can be used in a school garden to help kindergarten through fifth grade students increase their understanding of science and their connection to nature. Not only will we explore how to implement these ideas at your school, we’ll also look at how to use the garden as a tool that facilitates “teachable moments” and develops critical thinking skills.

    A5 | Sensory Gardens that Maximize Play

    Staci Jasin | Designer and Educator | In Situ Design & The Janus School | Lancaster, PA
    Sara Jasin | Occupational Therapist | Kennedy Krieger | Baltimore, MD

    Sensory gardens have been associated with special needs populations, yet all children can benefit from sensory elements. Learn about what sensory elements are, and the cognitive and developmental benefits they offer when incorporated into lessons and activities in the garden. We’ll also discuss practical considerations for different age groups and realistic ideas to enliven gardens. A sensory-based activity, video, and images will further inspire you to bring sensory exploration to your back yard and garden space!

    A6 | Promoting Safe Food Gardening and Handling Practices in Youth Gardens

    Lisa Gonzalez | Gardening for Nutrition Educator | UMD Extension- Food Supplement Nutrition Program | Baltimore, MD

    In this fun and interactive session, you’ll learn about basic principles of food safety as it relates to youth gardening. Topics will include: USDA school garden food safety guidelines, common school gardening practices that may not be safe, tips specifically for educational gardens, safe harvesting/handling/storage practices, and safe food preparation with garden produce.

    A7 | Panel on Access to Gardens, Food, and Related Programs

    Shawnee Adelson | Education Facilitator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Shannon Spurlock | Community Initiatives Coordinator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Jessica Romer | Community Initiatives Coordinator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Heather DeLong | Programs and Outreach Coordinator | DeLaney Community Farm | Denver, CO

    Your questions about food access and community gardens will be answered in this panel Q&A with Denver-area experts and community activists. You will learn how to address issues of food access through a "Free Seeds and Transplants" program, how to use SNAP at youth farmer's markets, and how to establish and grow community gardens that support low-income neighborhoods and engage WIC clients.

    B1 | Cross-Curricular Cooking

    Cara Mia Duncan | Academic Programs Manager | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH

    Find out how a teacher with a serious Food Network addiction turned amateur kitchen skills into lesson-planning inspiration while addressing math, science, social studies, and language arts standards. This hands-on workshop will explore teaching children about food in the garden and kitchen. Participants will get a chance to try a few simple recipes that have been proven to inspire even the pickiest of students to open their mind (and their mouth!) to try new foods. In addition, the gardens that served as inspiration to this cross-curricular lesson will also be discussed, as well as the need to prioritize food safety and allergy concerns when planning to work with children.

    B2 | Slow Food in the Garden

    Gigia Kolouch | Seed-to-Table Program Director | Slow Food Denver | Denver, CO

    Cooking classes are powerful tools to change someone’s food preferences, particularly for fresh fruits and vegetables, which helps ensure the success of a school garden program. Maximize the effectiveness of your classes by putting the students in the driver’s seat. This workshop will teach techniques and activities like progressive tasting sessions and recipe developments that allow the students to guide the ultimate flavors of food. You’ll learn how to use Slow Food Denver’s Seed-to-Table Activity Guide to conduct garden-based cooking classes using ingredients available in your local school garden.

    B3 | Constructing a Table Top Literary Garden

    Mark Lubkowitz | Associate Professor | St. Michael’s College | Colchester, VT
    Valerie Bang-Jensen | Associate Professor | St. Michael’s College | Colchester, VT

    Imagine Miss Rumphius without lupines or Winnie-the-Pooh without thistles for Eeyore. Join us in exploring the relationship between children’s literature, botany, and gardens as inspiration for creating a school or library garden. Literary gardens encourage readers and gardeners to deepen their understanding of both literature and biology. You’ll learn how to deconstruct a children’s book through literary and botanical lenses. Then, practice with a book of your choosing to construct your own literary desktop garden. The group will brainstorm ways to create similar projects within their own learning and gardening communities.

    B4 | Little Budget, Big Impact! Hands-on Lessons Needing Few Supplies

    Beth Carreno | Education Coordinator | Bookworm Gardens | Sheboygan, WI

    Many educational activities for children involve participants making-and-taking. Such activities and crafts are great for camps and long-term programs, but what about field trips, classrooms, or drop-in programs operating with very small budgets and time constraints? This session will demonstrate environmental, garden, and literature activities that can be repeated numerous times using the same basic supplies. The key is focusing on what is experienced, not what is made. These lessons are based on tested environmental education tenants, require few consumable materials, and are easily adapted for different ages in different seasons.

    B5 | Li’l Sprouts: Growing Gardens and Toddlers Together

    Elizabeth Sparks | 4H Youth Development Assistant Agent | Pima County Cooperative Extension | Tucson, AZ
    Amy Plopper | Instructional Specialist | University of Arizona, Tucson Village Farm | Tucson, AZ

    Toddlers can reap many developmental benefits from garden exploration, such as safe risk-taking, appreciation for diversity, and cooperation--not to mention the benefits of early exposure to fruits and vegetables in shaping taste preferences. Learn how Tucson Village Farm, an urban non-profit educational farm, engages toddlers with simple, hands-on garden activities, age-appropriate recipes, and more to facilitate learning new skills.

    B6 | Got Veggies?: Garden-Based Nutrition in Action

    Nathan Larson | Education Director | Community GroundWorks at Troy Gardens | Madison, WI

    Get young people excited about eating a variety of vegetables and fruits in their school or community garden! Learn about innovative, effective strategies for integrating nutrition and fitness into experiential garden and culinary arts programming for K-12 students, in addition to hands-on lessons, songs, and other activities that can be replicated at different sites. You also will receive a copy of “Got Veggies?” a 60-page, garden-based nutrition education curriculum.

    B7 | Gardening with Children

    Christine Ginnity | Youth Program Coordinator | The Gardens on Spring Creek | Fort Collins, CO

    Through the example of The Gardens on Spring Creek, we’ll explore the benefits of gardening for and with children such as character development, physical fitness, nutrition, and educational enrichment. In addition, we’ll discuss hands-on projects for each of the four seasons of the year that are guaranteed to entertain and educate while being cost-effective and utilizing easily located materials. Accompanying each of the projects will be learning objectives, story or reference books, and a foul-weather back-up plan.

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    C1 | Plants from WHEN and WHERE?

    Mary Beth Bennett | Extension Agent & Master Gardener Coordinator | WVU Berkeley County Extension | Martinsburg, WV

    Put a global spin on your classes through plants we use every day, while teaching across the curriculum to meet core education standards. Looking at famous people known for working with plants, how plants grow, and how they are used, will help to expand problem-solving, enhance observation, stimulate student interest, and make learning fun for everybody. Skillathons and hands-on activities that help teach across the curriculum and relate to everyday life will be demonstrated.

    C2 | One Week Gardening Camp Ideas

    Shelley Mitchell | Extension Educator | Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, OK

    What kinds of garden activities can you do in July at a one-week day camp? This session will cover all of the pertinent details of running a camp, based on programs run by Oklahoma State University Extension. We’ll provide enough detail that you could duplicate the camp we present, or easily modify the agenda to fit your needs. You’ll try your hand at some sample activities appropriate for 8 to 12 year-olds and leave with a list of helpful resources.

    C3 | Recipe for Success: Developing Garden-Based Culinary Programs

    Annie Novak | Manager of the Edible Academy | The New York Botanical Gardens | Bronx, NY

    From seasonal salads to succotash, learn how to brainstorm and create recipes that engage your visitors and students, introducing them to new cooking skills and nutrition through garden-based learning. We’ll provide tips for mastering the proper technical language of recipe writing and discuss how to link curriculum, such as math and science, as part of a cooking lesson. You’ll also receive a fun, educational curriculum for garden staff and program partners to teach during cooking demonstrations.

    C4 | Learning Gardens: Making Outdoor Education Irresistible, Relevant and Resilient

    Catherine Padgett | Teacher/Environmental Ed Coordinator | Ford Elementary School | Atlanta, GA
    Kyla Zaro-Moore | Gardens Program Manager | Captain Planet Foundation | Atlanta, GA
    Karan Wood | Director of Leadership Center | Captain Planet Foundation | Atlanta, GA

    Learn sustainability strategies for garden-based learning from Ford Elementary School’s 20-year journey and lessons from Captain Planet Foundation’s LearningGarden Curriculum. We’ll explore garden designs suitable for one-day installations, enjoy “café-chats” and recipes, and see PBS’s “Growing a Greener World,” featuring Ford’s garden programming. We’ll also discuss how to incorporate an inquiry-based integrated garden curriculum, aligned with science standards, student-designed environmental stewardship projects, summer garden management strategies, and evaluation and assessment tools.

    C5 | Growing a Garden of Books!

    Rick Swann | Librarian & Children’s Author | Seattle School Garden Network | Seattle, WA

    When the garden is sleeping or just too soggy to work in, garden-themed books make a great option. We’ll look at some of the top titles for preschool through middle school students, along with hands-on activities to use with them. We’ll each make an origami caterpillar book and a “Tops and Bottoms” book together. You’ll also leave with an annotated bibliography of garden titles for kids as well as fun coinciding activities to share with your educational garden communities at home.

    C6 | Integrating Garden Produce into the School and Community

    Shawnee Adelson | Education Facilitator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Andrew Nowak | Project Manager | Slow Food Denver | Denver, CO

    This interactive workshop is geared to give you an understanding of the policy considerations at the school, district, and city levels to use school garden produce in the cafeteria or to sell the produce to the community. Through a mock training session, you’ll learn how to operate these types of programs with students and volunteers. You will leave with the necessary information and tools to be able to develop these programs in your own schools.

    C7 | Not Your Grandmother’s Librarian- 21st Century Resources for Gardening

    Pam Hosimer | Master Gardener & Librarian | University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener | Damascus, MD

    Launch into the 21st century with new print and online resources that make it simple to develop programs and lessons for immersing kids in gardening! This material can be used as a foundation to develop a theme or to bridge into curriculum based lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM), history, reading, the arts, and more. We’ll practice creating an original lesson plan by using inspiration from the workshop books and resources. Come prepared to talk about challenges you face or information you want to find. Please bring a laptop or iPad if possible.

    C8 | Teachable Landscapes: Using Gardens for Informal Science Learning

    Julie Casault | Gardener | Denver Botanic Gardens | Denver, CO
    Brien Darby | Horticulturist | Denver Botanic Gardens | Denver, CO
    Rachel Murray | Coordinator of Interpretation | Denver Botanic Gardens | Denver, CO

    Educational and affective outcomes can guide creation of a cohesive garden identity. This results in a space where free play, inquiry-based learning, and guided activities share a common vision. Join us for this workshop on children’s garden planning and learning applications. You will walk away with practical approaches for any setting: techniques for design, plant selection, options for structured learning, and interpretive planning and evaluation.

    D1 | Get Comfortable with Butterflies and Other Pollinators

    Joan Calder | Horticulturist & Garden Design Instructor | Santa Barbara City College/Patio Publishing | Santa Barbara, CA

    Not sure where to start when it comes to bonding with the insect world? Discover the basics of a monarch butterfly garden, and leave ready to inspire, engage, and excite children about nature with your newfound confidence. We’ll cover the needs of each monarch butterfly life cycle stage, requirements of butterfly gardens, nectar and host plants, and the role of other pollinators in the garden. You’ll gain the skills to create a butterfly habitat to share with your students the “aha moment” of the butterflies’ arrival.

    D2 | Your Garden Toolkit: The Right Tools for a Children’s Garden

    Annie Novak | Manager of the Edible Academy | The New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY

    Don’t waste your time with tools that get lost, broken, or underused. Instead, learn from the years of experience of NYBG staff as we illustrate how to build up an efficient budget- and visitor-friendly tool collection. We’ll highlight resourceful ways of making your tool collection useful for small and large visitor groups, as well as doubling up children’s gardening tools with those used by adult volunteers and staff. Additionally, NYBG staff will provide concrete examples of connecting tool choices and use to garden programming and school curriculum.

    D3 | Lessons for Today’s Children’s Garden Educators from Research

    Mary Legoria | Science Specialist | Westdale Heights Academic Magnet | Baton Rouge, LA
    Pam Blanchard | Associate Professor | Louisiana State University | Baton Rouge, LA

    This session will present recent research from science educators such as David Sobel, Richard Louv, and others to give children’s garden designers and educators in both botanic and school gardens new insight into facilitating children’s bond with nature. You’ll leave with a bibliography of garden-related research, pictures of garden elements that have successfully incorporated findings from this analysis, and ideas for using these research findings in your garden.

    D4 | Garden-Based Programs: Planting the Seeds for Youth Empowerment

    Judy Elliot | Contract Educator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO

    Garden-based programs can be a powerful tool for helping youth to reach their full potential as healthy, caring, and enthusiastic community leaders. Learn how a specific school-based community garden supported by Denver Urban Gardens (DUG) has helped elementary-aged youth living in communities with significant challenges to do just that. You'll gain specific skills, activities, and strategies to promote inclusiveness, address conflict resolution, and involve children with different learning styles in garden-based education.

    D5 | Garden Mindfulness Games

    Joann Calabrese | Permaculturist & Folk Herbalist | Denver, CO

    Explore the benefits of mindfulness and how it can be used to engage students in gardening through various activities and exercises. Some of the topics we’ll cover include using all senses in the garden, observing patterns and differences, and creating garden mandals. We also will practice some mindfulness activities ourselves, and look at how to apply and adapt mindfulness games to different age groups.

    D6 | Developing Curriculum Resources and Networking for School Gardens: A Model

    John Porter | Extension Agent | WVU Extension Service | Charleston, WV
    Jessica Pollitt | Americorps VISTA | WVU Extension Service | Charleston, WV
    Jenny Totten | Americorps VISTA | Build It Up | Charleston, WV

    Are you trying to connect with other gardens and education resources in your area? Find out how statewide teamwork created a School and Youth Garden Network that links together educators from all over West Virginia. This group works together to spearhead projects that encourage school gardening throughout the state’s most metropolitan area by allowing educators to easily share ideas, education, and resources. Based on this successful model, you’ll leave with the right tools for creating a similar network in your own area.

    D7 | Operating a Greenhouse with Special Needs Students

    Tammy Wilkins | PAES Instructor | Northumberland High School | Heathsville, VA

    Greenhouses can be used for much more than just starting seeds. Come learn about greenhouse education for special needs students based on a program at Northumberland High School in Virginia that allows both youth and plants to grow along side each other. We’ll outline the process and structure of teaching all aspects of greenhouse management to students with disabilities, providing them with valuable job and life skills.

    D8 | SMARTE Garden

    Norm Lownds | Professor and Curator | Michigan State University | East Lansing, MI

    SMARTE (Science, Math, Art, Reading, Technology and Engineering) Garden is a new approach to elegant technology integration for extended garden learning. Find out how the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden uses iPads, Wikis, Wonder Wall, Google docs, and lots of really cool apps to expand learning beyond the specific activity of a field trip back to school and even home. Explore how you can become part of our SMARTE Garden network and build off what we have already done. Bring your questions, ideas, and imagination so we can work together to create new connections across schools, states, and even countries. Let’s get SMARTE!

    E1 | The Children’s Vegetable Garden Program

    David Rodriguez | Extension Horticulturalist | Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service | San Antonio, TX

    Teaching the benefits of growing food and the importance of agriculture in this country is what The Children’s Vegetable Garden Program in Bexar County/San Antonio, Texas, is all about. Learn about how this model program works primarily with youth ages 8-13 to chip away at the ever-growing national health issues of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. Simply put, its message is “gardening is good.” Take with you this program’s techniques and experiences to share this message with youth in your community.

    E2 | Creating Proactive Policies for School Gardens

    Shannon Spurlock | Community Initiatives Coordinator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Jessica Romer | Community Initiatives Coordinator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Laurel Mattrey |Sustainability Planner | Denver Public Schools | Denver, CO
    Annie Chensoff | Garden & Youth Education Intern | Denver Public Schools | Denver, CO
    Emily O’Winter | District Healthy Schools Coordinator | Jeffco Public Schools | Denver, CO

    Often times, the idea of establishing a garden is so mobilizing and exciting for a school and/or school district that key policies are neglected until the very end of this process, making it challenging to address potential issues and concerns before they arise. This session will help teachers, parents, and administrators be proactive in establishing a framework that is both conducive to garden-based education and addresses maintenance, health and safety concerns. Key topics covered will include background checks, maintenance guidelines, use agreements, water usage, and much more.

    E3 | The Role of School Gardens within the Social Ecological Model

    Lisa Gonzalez | Gardening for Nutrition Educator | University of Maryland Extension | Baltimore, MD

    This session will examine the role gardens can play in promoting healthier public school settings in high need communities, addressing challenges in meeting their nutritional needs for fruit and vegetables. Learn how school food gardening programs can encourage students to make better food choices, and how they can impact parents, teachers, and the larger community.

    E4 | The Smelly Garden: From Zero to Engaging in One Year

    Kris Koch | Education Coordinator | Rotary Botanical Gardens | Janesville, WI

    As with many other smaller, non-urban botanical gardens, Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin, was created to be visually stunning, but not necessarily touched. However, today’s visitors have much higher expectations and want to be engaged, if not outright entertained! Find out how the garden overcame philosophical and logistical challenges to dedicate a garden space to children for the very first time in its history in 2011. You’ll also learn about the interpretive education, self-guided activities, and public events that help make this new garden successful.

    E5 | Horticulture Therapy and Junior Master Gardeners

    Luci Davis | Junior Master Gardener Coordinator | Alabama Cooperative Extension System | Troy, AL
    Rachel Lee | 4-H Regional Extension Agent | Alabama Cooperative Extension System | Troy, AL

    Change lives through horticultural therapy for special needs students in your school district or garden community by implementing the Junior Master Gardeners program. Gardening lessons teach children science, healthy eating, and job skills while they learn responsibility, gain a sense of independence, and have fun. Discover how to start a program with your classroom, and how to adapt activities to suit your students’ needs.

    E6 | Hands-On Outdoor Learning: Children’s Experiences at Gardens, Zoos, and Museums

    Dennis Meyer | Landscape Architect | The Portico Group | Seattle, WA
    Robert Byers | Associate Executive Director | Garvan Woodland Gardens | Hot Springs National Park, AR
    Vanessa Rogier | Communications & Conservation Manager | Happy Hollow Park & Zoo | San Jose, CA
    Patty Belmonte | Executive Director | Hands On Children’s Museum | Olympia, WA

    Nature provides a richly diverse environment for children’s learning. Learn how various public gardens, zoos, and children’s museums build environmental literacy, encourage collaborative learning, and ensure that informal education grows through hands-on experiences. Experts from these venues will discuss effective and engaging tools that can be applied in garden environments, including the National Wildlife Federation’s Going Wild program’s innovative approach to outdoor learning.

    E7 | An Informal Discussion in Nutrition Education: Approaches and Challenges

    Fiona Doherty | Cornell University Alumni

    This informal discussion will focus on teaching nutrition in the garden. We will touch upon the different approaches of teaching nutrition in the garden to diverse groups as well as the challenges of trying to make good nutrition long-lasting for our students. Come prepared with your own questions and experiences or just come to listen. We have a lot to learn from each other!

    E8 | Lawyers, (Squirt) Guns, & Money: The Impertinent Program

    Aaron Sommers | Education Director | Cheyenne Botanic Gardens | Cheyenne, WY

    By stretching your definition of “gardening” and by pairing chaos with beauty, you can engage and deepen your audience’s enjoyment of traditional public garden spaces. See how Cheyenne Botanic Garden’s Paul Smith Children’s Village in Wyoming designs its programs using the educational philosophy of “playwork,” which guides but does not lead exploration, and emphasizes play as a process and not a product. By learning from our successes and failures, you, too, can develop programming that will gain more return visitors, donors, and community engagement than traditional garden curricula.

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    F1 | Preparing Students to be Teachers and Leaders in the Garden

    Malena Garcia | Environmental Educator & Garden Coordinator | Escuela Ecologica Ninos Uniendo al Mundo | Guaynabo, PR

    Within the context of a Montessori educational philosophy, the Escuela Ecologica Ninos Uniendo al Mundo in Puerto Rico focuses on teaching and training 4th - 6th grade students to conduct garden workshops to the outside community. This innovative garden program integrates the concepts of Environmental Education with the subjects of science, math, language arts, and history. You’ll learn how to prepare students for this type of leadership role, methods of measuring mastery of a skill or concept, and garden curriculum.

    F2 | Where Wonder Takes You

    Mary Colborn | Director | Allegan Historic Farm & Learning Center | Allegan, MI

    Using the children’s book, Where Wonder Takes You, we’ll explore the migrations of the ruby-throated and rufous hummingbirds through the eyes of a nature-loving child. This chapter book offers limitless possibilities for teaching natural history and geography. You will receive a copy of the book and three lessons tailor-made for middle school readers.

    F3 | Ecological Literacy in the Outdoor Learnscape

    Vanessa Carter | School Garden Program Director | Occidental Arts and Ecology Center | Occidental, CA

    Explore how your community can develop an interdisciplinary, hands-on, place-based academic program that supports students in understanding their relationship to the resources around them, while contributing to a regenerative world. Whether you teach in an urban, suburban, or rural community, you’ll leave this session feeling confident in applying new strategies and curricula to engage your school in the collaborative co-creating of thriving ecoliteracy programs.

    F4 | The Butterflies are Coming!

    Tina Stanly | Butterfly House & Children’s Garden Manager | Huntsville Botanical Garden | Huntsville, AL
    Soozi Pline | Children’s Education Manager | Huntsville Botanical Garden | Huntsville, AL

    Huntsville Botanical Garden’s butterfly house had a modest beginning in a small tent and is currently home to one of the largest open-air butterfly houses in the nation. Go behind the scenes with us to see what it takes to rear your own butterflies, host, and nectar plants. Find out what happens in the butterfly house from November through April when butterfly season is officially over, and receive lesson plan handouts to take back to your garden community.

    F5 | Garden Connections/Permaculture 101

    Joann Calabrese | Permaculturist & Folk Herbalist | Denver, CO

    This interactive session will introduce you to permaculture - a sustainable design system rooted in observing patterns and enhancing connections - and give you ideas for teaching its concepts to students in fun and practical ways. We’ll focus on basic techniques, and how to use that knowledge to design food producing areas with less work and more productivity.

    F6 | Making the Case for Garden-Based Field Trips

    Britt Patterson-Weber | Youth Programs Manager | Naples Botanical Garden | Naples, FL

    Due to an increased emphasis on state standardized testing, field trips have become increasingly difficult for teachers to justify. Find out how to link field trips to standardized teaching objectives and arm yourself with the research-based justification for garden-based field trip experiences, based on a successful field trip model at Naples Botanical Garden in Florida.

    F7 | Connecting Generations in School Gardens

    Jessica Romer | Community Initiatives Coordinator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Jean Stevenson | Connecting Generations Mentor | Denver, CO
    Clark Milsom | Connecting Generations Mentor | Denver, CO

    School-based community gardens can be greatly enhanced when supported by a committed group of older adult volunteers, which may include on-site community gardeners, parents, grandparents, or neighbors. Learn the nuts and bolts of developing and coordinating a school garden-based intergenerational mentoring program. We'll look at the benefits of engaging volunteers from multiple generations and how other communities may be able to develop similar programming.

    F8 | Nature Play in the Garden

    Lisa Davis | Denver, CO
    Melissa Gula | Denver Botanic Gardens | Denver, CO

    Three concepts are central to the daily activities that occur at the Mordecai Children’s Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens: nature play, family interactions, and providing authentic experiences. Learn how the garden's staff utilizes authentic materials to provide opportunities for children and their caregivers to interact with nature with a healthy dose of risk. We'll explore ways to incorporate nature play and family friendly interaction in your own garden and how to manage risk.

    G1 | Creating a Safe Space for your Children’s Garden

    Kim Slager | Insurance and Risk Management Consultant | Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance Agency Inc | Grandville, MI
    Kevin Roehling | Director of Safety & Risk Management | Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance Agency Inc | Grandville, MI

    You have wonderful ideas for your educational garden, but do you need direction on executing these ideas safely and legally? We’ll walk you through how to navigate the “red tape” of interactive children’s gardens, from playground equipment to background checks, and the overall security of a space. In addition, we will look at proper procedures for handling children enrolled in programming.

    G2 | Youth Gardens and Sharing with Neighbors in Need

    Dana Miller | Co-Director | Grow Local Colorado | Denver, CO
    Krista Roberts | Executive Director | Slow Food Denver | Denver, CO

    One way youth can make a big impact on their community is to “plant a row for the hungry” in their gardens and donate the produce to those in need. Slow Food Denver and Grow Local Colorado will moderate a panel that will include a school or youth garden leader who is involved in donating produce, a representative from a food pantry, a recipient of fresh produce from a food pantry, and a student who has had experience in growing and donating. Join us as we look at the possibilities between connecting youth gardens and hunger relief efforts from various perspectives of experience and ideas.

    G3 | Horticultural Therapy: Gardening with Pediatric Patients in a Hospital Environment

    Gary Wangler | Horticulturist, HTR | St. Louis Children’s Hospital | St. Louis, MO

    Gardening can be a powerful form of therapy during a child’s hospitalization. It provides a tool for distraction, engagement, social interaction, and stewardship, as well as for recovering fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, memory recall, and other physical benefits. We’ll explore various activities that can be done at the bedside as well as outdoors, and how to integrate support group sessions.

    G4 | Creating Sustainable Schoolyards in the Philadelphia School System

    Lolly Tai | Professor | Temple University | Philadelphia, PA

    Since children spend more than 80 percent of their time in school, schoolyards are effective places to instill environmental awareness as well as engage children in healthier lifestyles through outdoor activities. This presentation describes a design project for greening two schoolyards in inner city Philadelphia, completed by Temple University landscape architecture students. We’ll summarize the process that can serve as a model for other schools and discuss creative ideas you can use in your own community.

    G5 | Maintaining the Miracle

    Ian Warnock | Lead Horticulturalist | Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park | Grand Rapids, MI

    You’ve built the garden. You’ve survived the grand opening. Now how do you maintain this miracle you’ve created? Come gather hints, tips, and secrets gained from years of experience at the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden in Michigan, including what tools to use for various gardening tasks and how to best use them, suitable tools for tots to teens, and how to let the kids help you in the garden.

    G6 | Education through Aquaponic Learning

    Sylvia Bernstein | President | The Aquaponic Source | Boulder, CO

    Whether you are new to aquaponics or looking to further your knowledge and application of aquaponic gardening, this session will provide interesting and relevant educational lessons that can be applied to your classroom. Specifically, we will explore how the aquaponics ecosystem can be used to illustrate topics such as biology, physics, chemistry, horticulture, zoology, ecology, and nutrition sciences.

    G7 | Using Project-Based Learning to Teach Plant Growth and Development

    Delores Higgins | Science Teacher | Colorado Springs School District 11 | Colorado Springs, CO

    This session will demonstrate a project-based learning model that leads plant detectives to a crime scene where they investigate how plants grow. This cross-curricula activity requires third through fifth grade students to use their knowledge of science, math, social studies, and writing to collect evidence and report their findings about plant growth processes. You'll walk away with step-by-step instructions for the crime scene set-up.

    G8 | Beneficial Partnerships

    Michelle Provaznik | Director | The Gardens on Spring Creek | Fort Collins, CO

    Learn about how partnerships have helped the Gardens on Spring Creek expand its programming while staying mission-focused. We'll discuss three programs/partnerships: The Community Garden Outreach Program, The Annual Spring Plant Sale, and The ARTiculture Sculpture Show and Fine Arts Festival. We'll look at how these partnerships have strengthened the Gardens on Spring Creek, and how applying these efforts to your garden community can produce similar beneficial results.

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