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  • 2014 Session Descriptions

    Columbus, Ohio July 17-19, 2014

    2014 Session Descriptions

    Find what interests you most

    If you attended NCYGS 2014, you have access to session handouts and presentations from the Symposium.  You will need to log in or create an account on our website to access these materials.



    A1 | Community Outreach and Youth Engagement: Your Garden or Ours?

    Dr. Mark Miller | Education Manager | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens| Columbus, OH
    Bill Dawson | Growing to Green Coordinator | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH
    Barbara Arnold | Horticulture Program and Green Corps Coordinator | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH
    Da’vetra Stewart | Youth Gardener | Wedgewood Community Garden | Columbus, OH


    This panel presentation features seasoned horticulturists and gardeners exploring programs focused on community outreach and youth engagement at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  Under the guidance of a moderator, each panelist will delve into programming, experiences, collaborations, and impacts on local youth. Attendees may discover unique approaches, new techniques and intriguing methods of providing community outreach and youth gardening education throughout central Ohio and within the boundaries of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  The discussion will include visuals and time for Q&A.


    A2 | The Science Behind How Nature Works in Your Garden

    Angela Brisson | Nature Works Everywhere Program Manager | The Nature Conservancy | Arlington, VA
    Britta Culbertson | Nature Works Everywhere Education and Outreach Manager | The Nature Conservancy | Arlington, VA


    This interactive workshop will introduce you to a new set of digital education tools that help you and your students track, measure, and report out on the conservation impact of your garden. You'll collect data on how much habitat the garden provides for pollinators and other wildlife, on how much water your garden filters, and on how you're decreasing your carbon footprint by growing local food. We'll look at how you can share that data and connect with a national community of gardeners. Finally, we'll wrap up with a hands-on gardening activity that highlights the unique standards-aligned, STEM focused Nature Works Everywhere gardens curriculum and resources. Please bring your own tablet or laptop so you can explore our digital education tools on your own device (suggested, not required).


    A3 | Linking Plant Science and Literature in the Elementary Classroom

    Renata Brown | Vice President of Education | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH
    Rowenna Collins | Director of Academics | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH


    Interactive games, stories, and explorations help make subject matter meaningful and engaging for students. Participate in a variety of hands-on learning activities connecting plant science and literature, including books from the “Growing Good Kids Excellence in Children’s Literature” awards program. This workshop incorporates excerpts from Cleveland Botanical Garden’s professional development unit created to promote inter¬disciplinary science and language arts instruction in the primary grades. We will share our model for presenting effective inquiry-based, age-appropriate lessons for teachers to replicate in the classroom as well as tips for successful professional development.


    A4 | Pollinator Palooza

    Kim Bailey | Environmental Outreach Coordinator | Georgia Department of Natural Resources | Cumming, GA


    In this pollinator garden extravaganza we’ll explore teaching activities and other resources to help children understand and appreciate the important role that pollinators play in ecosystems. Attendees will act out the parts of a flower, dissect real flowers, and get a close-up view of flower parts using hand lenses and Magiscopes. We’ll learn about pollination partners by using props, dancing, and games; modeling pollinator garden investigations; and celebrating the fruits of pollinators’ labors through a tasting activity. We’ll wrap up with an overview of resources including citizen science programs, curricula, children’s books, and videos that can enhance pollinator education efforts in any teaching setting.


    A5 | Adapting Junior Master Gardener to ANYBODY

    Jenny Totten | Americorps VISTA | West Virginia State University | Huntington, WV
    Shelley Whittington | Extension Agent | West Virginia State University | Institute, WV


    Find out how to adapt the popular Junior Master Gardener (JMG) Curriculum to fit any classroom, play group, or individual. We will show you some examples of what's worked for us in West Virginia, and lead you in some fun hands-on adaptations for preschool all the way to high school, and including special needs populations. We will also showcase theme gardens for children and how to create beautiful spaces to encourage outdoor interaction with nature, exploration, and curiosity about the world around us.


    A6 | Slow Food in the Garden: Good, Clean and Fair

    Gigia Kolouch | Education Director | Slow Food Denver | Denver, CO
    Katrina Brink | Instructor | Slow Food Denver | Denver, CO


    This workshop combines an overview of Slow Food USA’s new Good, Clean and Fair school garden curricula with two hands-on activities and discussion. One activity is based on garden grown vegetables and incorporates observation, inquiry and language arts.  The second is a cooking activity that uses sensory exploration, cooking techniques and fresh ingredients. Following the activities will be an instructor-moderated audience discussion of the activities, and appropriate adjustments for student needs and bioregional constraints.  This presentation will enable attendees to use and adapt Slow Food curriculum, understand the concepts “Good, Clean, and Fair” as related to school garden education, and implement a school garden or cooking activity.


    A7 | Crafty Gardens

    Mary Dudley | Youth Education Coordinator | Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH
    Bennett Dowling | Horticulturalist | Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH


    With a little attention to detail and some careful planning, your garden can be used for more than produce. Curious seed pods, hardy foliage and recycled items make fantastic crafts. Youth can create works of art from the garden that can be gifts or sold as a fundraiser. During this workshop participants will learn the specifics on several plants that provide craft materials, followed by the opportunity to create their own masterpieces using natural and recycled items harvested from our gardens in Cincinnati.


    A8 | Biodynamics of Middle School Gardening: Birds, Bees, Speed-dating and Pizza

    Patti DeLotell | Environmental Lab Coordinator/Middle School Human Ecology Teacher | Miami Valley School | Dayton, OH


    Discovery happens every day in a garden. Self-discovery happens every day in adolescence. By combining these two phenomena into a new program, Miami Valley School is trail blazing in the world of middle school education. We will share our incredible (and often humorous) journey of building a curriculum with and for teens and tweens. Then, along with student volunteer assistants, immerse yourself in memorable discussions and hands-on activities such as hand threshing grain, creating custom tea, building pizza ovens, twining fiber rugs, and, of course, speed-dating. Participants will leave this workshop with resources, finished products, and an abundance of selfies!


    B1 | Explore the Food of the Gods and Supporting Cast

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


    Come explore the science, history, and geography behind the chocolate tree and how it can be used in STEM activities to engage both children and adults.  We will address fun ways that children can learn where chocolate comes from, how it grows, and how it is made into products they like to eat.  We will explore chocolate related careers and learn about people like Milton Hershey and John Cadbury who used chocolate to make their fortunes. Participants will discover how to use chocolate in interdisciplinary lessons and to encourage youth to investigate different career possibilities. And of course, we will also sample some food of the gods.


    B2 | Abuse Prevention & Important Strategies to Deploy

    Kim Slager | Insurance/Risk Management Consultant | Berends Hendricks Stuit Insurance | Cincinnati, OH
    Julie Hakman | President and CEO | AmericanChecked Inc. | Tulsa, OK


    Protecting the children involved in our programming is a primary concern. In this session we will discuss abuse prevention strategies such as having a formal written abuse policy and procedure in place, on-going training with staff to detect signs of abuse, and proper reporting of incidents. We will provide resources and include discussion on institutional liability, insurance, and impacts on the board of directors. By having an effective, proactive & engaged plan in place we can mitigate risk and fund it at a lower cost by understanding the exposure and training our staff accordingly.


    B3 | Building a Garden Program with a Transient Youth Population

    Stephanie Conley | Interaction Coordinator-SCRATCH Project | West Virginia State University | Institute, WV
    Melissa Stewart | Assistant Director, Community Agriculture and Resource Development | West Virginia State University Extension | Institute, WV
    Jennifer Totten | Americorps VISTA-SCRATCH Project | West Virginia State University | Institute, WV


    The SCRATCH (Sustainable Community Revitalization in Appalachia Through Children's Hands) Project is a hands-on program based in the urban neighborhood of Fairfield in Huntington, WV. It is the culmination of a partnership between West Virginia State University, the city of Huntington, Marshall University and several others in order to teach children where their food comes from, how to grow food and other plants, and how to create, market, and sell a product. The program involves a transient population which is ever-changing, and can make evaluation and curriculum design troublesome. Come learn how we've navigated these waters and discover some best practices for evaluating and reporting with programs that don't always fit the classroom or summer camp mold!


    B4 | Sustaining a School Garden Program in a Small Rural District

    Jennifer Grabner | Executive Director | Southern Boone Learning Garden | Ashland, MO


    The Southern Boone Learning Garden was started in 2007 by two parents who passionately believed in the power of experiential, outdoor learning. What started as a small volunteer-led after school club has grown into a thriving community-based nonprofit. We have done this through a combination of grants, in-kind support, community donations, club fees, and farmer's market sales. In this session, we will explore our history and evolution, focusing on our approach to community engagement and the large 5-year grant which allows us to have paid staff. We will also discuss the pros and cons of our organizational structure and approach, and potential business/organizational plans for long-term sustainability.


    B5 | Lessons Learned from 50 School Gardens in Belize

    Mark Miller | Executive Director | Plenty Belize | Punta Gorda Town, Belize


    Mark Miller will share lessons learned since 2002 from the Garden Based Agriculture for Toledo's Environment (GATE) Program that has assisted over 50 primary schools (grades 1-8) in setting up and operating school garden programs. After hearing about Plenty's successes and challenges, the session opens up for everyone to discuss and share experiences. Areas of discussion will include the value of school gardens to teachers, parents, and school managers, resources needed to start a garden program in an area with low incomes, ownership and sustainability, and defining success. There is no one size fits all formula for successful school garden programs, so the presentation and ensuing discussion will be broad ranging.


    B6 | The Buzz to Adding Bees to Your Garden

    Mandy Smith | Education Manager | Mill Creek MetroParks-Fellows Riverside Gardens | Youngstown, OH
    Lori Mowad | Horticulture Educator | Mill Creek MetroParks-Fellows Riverside Gardens | Youngstown, OH
    Lynn Zocolo | Horticulture Educator | Mill Creek MetroParks-Fellows Riverside Gardens | Youngstown, OH


    With the decline of the honeybee population, it is increasingly vital that we understand how much of our food production relies on these small insects. Learn how to bring a honeybee hive to your garden for education and community engagement. The staff from Fellows Riverside Gardens, a small urban public garden, will share the story of how honeybees buzzed into their gardens. Learn about honeybee acquisition, maintenance, programming, safety, liability, and generating your own revenue through honey sales. Participants will take away information on honeybee terminology, hive set-up, and resources.


    B7 | Sparking Curiosity and Learning within Children’s Gardens

    Andy Howard | Senior Associate | Hitchcock Design Group | Cincinnati, OH


    This session will explore the design principles and key elements of successful children’s gardens that keep families coming back, with a focus on learning gardens. Current research and influential trends will be presented to ground our conversation. Success stories and images from gardens such as The Morton Arboretum Children’s Garden and Taltree Arboretum offer a wide range of ideas for suburban and urban settings. We will conclude with a fun “hands-on” exercise using natural “loose” part materials, and sharing ideas to apply what we’ve learned to real children’s gardens. Participants will come away with the steps they need to start planning and implementing their own learning gardens.


    B8 | Playground equipment design and integration into landscapes

    Dr. Lolly Tai | Professor of Landscape Architecture | Temple University | Ambler, PA


    Children spend a great deal of time in schoolyards, playgrounds, and parks. Playground equipment is often integrated in these places to provide children with interactive physical, mental, and social activities. This presentation describes the design process for fabricating playground equipment and for incorporating it into landscapes. Research findings from interview responses from three major play equipment companies will be discussed.


    C1 | Implementing a School Garden Food Safety System

    Rick Sherman | Farm to School/School Garden Coordinator | Oregon Department of Education | Youngstown, OH


    Minimize risks and liabilities by learning how to implement a food safety program for your school garden. The presenter will discuss the School Garden Food Safety Manual that he created, drawing on 32 years of experience as a Food Service Director and in collaboration with many partners across the country. This model uses training and documentation to provide a solid foundation, and is typically approved and supported by Health Inspectors and Sanitarians.


    C2 | Green Edu-tainment: Plant-based learning through music, props, and drama

    Paul Carmichael | Executive Director | Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve | Alliance, OH
    Melinda Carmichael | Associate Director | Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve | Alliance, OH


    Be inspired as art meets science and we examine the techniques and thought processes that have gone into making the successful "Professor Culpepper’s Amazing Garden" science program. Some areas to be covered for students K-5 include using music to memorize science concepts, simple props that convey abstract principles, fun and challenging hands-on activities, easy container grown plants for display, easy rhythm and musical instruments, developing a character, and dramatic science experiments. The program was created 10 years ago and has included a musical CD, school program, and the plant exploratorium science center at Beech Creek Gardens.


    C3 | Fantasy & Reality-Why School Gardens Fail

    Roberta Paolo | Executive Director | Granny's Garden School | Loveland, OH
    Jody Maher | Executive Director | Granny's Garden School | Loveland, OH


    This session is for educators interested in using their school grounds for plant based environmental education. Wherever you are in the process, you will come away better prepared to move forward. We will cover questions to answer before you write a grant proposal and other practicalities to keep your vision grounded. It is an opportunity to think through the process to avoid potential mistakes, and be better able to recognize and take advantage of opportunities. Audience participation is an important part of this session. Together, the presenters have more than twenty-five years of experience developing and running large school garden programs in a public school setting.


    C4 | Wild Play: Structuring Unstructured Play at an Art Museum

    Heidi Davis-Soylu | Manager of Academic Engagement and Learning Research | Indianapolis Museum of Art| Indianapolis, IN


    Time to play and engage with outdoor spaces is an important component of learning that is often undervalued. This presentation highlights a program designed to engage K-12 students and educators with the Art and Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). Participants will learn about the pilot year of our Wild IMA program, which focuses on providing unstructured play experiences for school groups. We’ll discuss specific activities connecting to mud, tunnels, outdoor art, and folklore. Participants will also receive handouts detailing two facilitated unstructured play days and additional ideas for organizing non-facilitated unstructured play.


    C5 | Burrow, Nibble, Scurry, Fly: Making Animal Connections in the Garden

    Dennis Meyer | Principal/Landscape Architect | The Portico Group | Seattle, WA
    Laura Bassett | Exhibit Content Developer | The Portico Group | Seattle, WA
    Marian Williams | Manager of Information Services | Holden Arboretum | Willoughby, OH
    Leslie Saul-Gershenz | University of California, Davis, Department of Entomology | Davis, CA


    Add a new dimension to your garden experience by integrating up-close encounters with bugs, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other critters that make their home in the garden. We’ll address several approaches to adding these encounters, including creating habitats that attract wildlife, or maintaining a program animal collection. A panel of experts will highlight their favorite stories of garden diggers, singers, and munchers that inspire children to think about both plants and animals in a whole new light. Then we will break into groups by zone and region and help you start developing a list of species that best tell your own garden’s story.


    C6 | Recycled Garden Art

    Sarah Baker | Garden Educator | City Blossoms | Washington, DC


    Through a series of hands-on activities, participants will learn the ins and outs of making unique, kid-friendly art projects from recycled and organic materials that can be installed in any outdoor space. These activities will draw from the experiences of City Blossoms, a DC-based organization that creates kid-friendly, creative green spaces to inspire communities to learn more about the wonders of growing their own food. By learning to see everyday objects in a new light, participants will leave the workshop with new inspiration and knowledge to create their own funky garden art.


    C7 | Gardening Day Camp Ideas

    Dr. Shelley Mitchell | Extension Associate, Youth Programs | Oklahoma State University | Stillwater, OK


    After hosting several years of week-long, full-day gardening camps, we have compiled a very long list of gardening-related activities that can be done indoors or outdoors on a minimal budget. Come try some of our more popular activities for 9-12 year olds, and get ideas for starting or rejuvenating your own program. We will share sample camp forms, sample daily schedules of activities and snacks, helpful tips for dealing with large groups of children in an informal education setting, and many, many activities and resources. You’ll leave with pages of ideas to implement your own camp from scratch!


    C8 | Wouldn’t Those Vegetables Be Tasty on the School’s Salad Bar?

    Dr. Andrew Nowak | Director, National School Garden Program | Slow Food USA | Denver, CO
    Shawnee Adelson | Education Facilitator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO


    Denver’s Garden to Cafeteria (GTC) program, which has successfully incorporated school garden produce into school cafeteria salad bars for four years, will be presented as a model for collaborative policy change, food safety training, and supply chain systems. Workshop participants will assume food supply chain roles to learn how fresh produce is grown, harvested, handled and served safely. We’ll discuss a model for collaboration among Health Departments, Food Service Directors, and Garden Leaders. Participants will leave the workshop with several templates to design their own GTC program, consistent with their district’s and health department’s food safety policies.


    D1 | Humane Education Horticulture Program

    Claire Lannoye-Hall | Curator of Education | Detroit Zoological Society | Royal Oak, MI
    Lisa Forzley | Humane Education Manager | Detroit Zoological Society | Royal Oak, MI


    A gardening project at a residential juvenile detention facility provides incarcerated youth opportunities to connect with nature with minimal financial investment. For the last four summers, a small group of young men have worked with staff to design, plant and care for an outdoor garden space. Each year has seen improvements in the size and quality of the garden and the accompanying year-round humane horticulture program. Youth have had opportunities to interact with native wildlife, eat fruits and vegetables fresh off the vine, take harvests home, and share their contributions to the garden with family members. We’ll openly share our successes and challenges, and some of the amazing and unexpected outcomes.


    D2 | Interactive Science: Terrariums, Vermicomposting, and Other Favorites from Garden Camp

    Rachel Dawsey | Director | North Alabama Agriplex | Cullman, AL


    Terrariums are miniature, self-contained ecosystems that can be easily made by children and used for interactive science education. Worm bins are another miniature world where children can directly observe decomposition and soil biology up close. Learn how to make and maintain terrariums and worm bins with kids, and how to use them to demonstrate the water cycle and other concepts. These and other favorite lessons from the North Alabama Agriplex Farm Kid's Club and Garden Camps will be presented in a hands-on method with lots of practical ideas to incorporate in your own gardening programs.


    D3 | Nature Legends from the Garden

    Candace Miller | Storyteller and Educator | Pourquoi Press | Lima, OH


    Come hear Pourquoi stories, also called nature legends or “How and Why” stories, told by Candace Miller from the more than 600 legends she has collected. Every culture has created stories of how plants and animals came to be or how they acquired their names and unique features. These “edu-taining” tales are subtle teachers that range from funny to sobering and scary to instructive. Nature legends are a perfect instrument to use in the ever-increasing emphasis on integrating science and language arts standards in the classroom.


    D4 | The Next Generation of Green Teacher Network

    Katherine Johnson | Teacher & Student Programs Director | Chicago Botanic Garden | Glencoe, IL
    John Cawood | Education Program Coordinator | Openlands | Chicago, IL


    The Green Teacher Network (GTN) was established in Chicago over a decade ago by Openlands, Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance to support long-term success of the growing number of local school gardens. GTN has survived dramatic changes in the Chicago public school system and Chicago leadership, garden care turnover, funding challenges, and more. This session will share what we have learned about what teachers and schools need for healthy gardens. We will explain how creating innovative programs and partnerships with Chicago Public Schools and community groups help us to overcome these challenges. We will suggest ways for other communities to benefit from this networking model.


    D5 | Growing Safer Gardens

    Ashley Chaifetz | Research Assistant | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Chapel Hill, NC
    Benjamin Chapman | Assistant Professor/Food Safety Extension Specialist | North Carolina State University | Raleigh, NC


    Based on the needs of garden managers in counties across North Carolina, we created, implemented, and evaluated an evidence-based food safety curriculum that models the essential parts of the USDA Good Agricultural Practices/Good Handling Practices Audit Verification Checklist. We will explore the entire process from the creation of the document to its execution and assessment. We will discuss best practices for gardens for site selection, soil, compost, irrigation, garden design, pests, tools, and sanitation. Attendees will leave with knowledge and tools to improve the safety of their own school gardens, and will receive a copy of the curriculum to take home.


    D6 | The City Farm Schönbrunn and Its Wonderful Vegetables

    Lisa Reck Burneo | Director | City Farm Schönbrunn | Vienna, Austria


    Discover the City Farm Schönbrunn - the first and newly developed Children´s Garden in Vienna, Austria, located on the former feudal grounds of empress Sisi. Hear about our year round Junior City Farming program, drop-in workshops and holiday activities. We will discuss interesting winter and perennial vegetables as well as unusual herbs to add fun and excitement to your garden activities nearly all year long. Participants will receive detailed information on various plants, their propagation and culinary use.


    D7 | Paving the Way for School Gardens in WV: Our Story

    John Porter | Extension Agent | WVU Extension Service | Charleston, WV
    Chuck Talbott | Extension Agent | WVU Extension Service| Winfield, WV
    Jessica Pollitt | Coordinator | WV School and Youth Garden Network | Charleston, WV


    School gardens have been gaining ground in West Virginia despite a lack of support or official sanction from state and local administrators. Working with teachers, several organizations have banded together to support these school gardens. Results from this collaboration include a website with curricula resources and a Content Standard database, increased support from local administrators and legislators, and an increase in the number of school gardens in the state. This workshop will detail the struggles and triumphs of the process and provide participants with inspiration and ideas on how to pave the way for school gardens in their own areas.


    D8 | Facilitating Play in Gardens Through Design and Programming

    Willa Pohlman | Educator | City Blossoms | Washington, DC


    Examine garden designs that facilitate independent play, creativity, and learning. Investigate examples from around the world of outdoor spaces that have been successful in empowering independent exploration. Many of these examples focus on experiencing the surrounding environment through unstructured learning opportunities. These spaces include designs that encourage adventure, imagination, connection to the natural world, use of senses, and many more opportunities to develop and grow. Look at how such elements can be incorporated into educational gardens, specifically examining the redesign of part of Girard Children's Community Garden in Washington D.C.


    E1 | Blooms & Butterflies: Attracting Youth to Gardens & Nature

    Fiona Doherty | Horticulture Educator | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH

    Chris Kline | Interpretation Specialist | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH


    2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the “Blooms and Butterflies” exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Over the course of this exhibit’s 20 years, department staff have developed and enhanced its educational components to boost its impact on visiting youth. Multifaceted approaches and an adaptable curriculum, along with the allure of beautiful butterflies, help engage and connect children to gardens and nature. In this interactive lecture we’ll share approaches to program development and successes and obstacles, and provide a pertinent garden-based education curriculum.


    E2 | Top 10 Roadblocks for School Gardens & Their Solutions

    Rick Sherman | Farm to School/School Garden Coordinator | Oregon Department of Education | Salem, OR


    Join presenter Rick Sherman as he walks through solutions for many of the perceived barriers that prevent schools from having a school garden. Many schools report that they’re unable to operate a garden due to limitations from health and safety regulations, as well as perceived liabilities with serving school garden produce. We will explore many "thinking-outside-the-box” best practice ideas that schools across the country have used to solve problems on their road to operating a school garden. We will also discuss specific concerns relating to facilities such as lack of space, short growing season, lack of support from leadership and/or the community, etc.


    E3 | Youth Farmers’ Markets Support Educational Experiences and Healthy Food Access

    Shawnee Adelson | Education Facilitator | Denver Urban Gardens | Denver, CO
    Dr. Andrew Nowak | Director, National School Garden Program | Slow Food USA | Denver, CO


    In Denver, the Youth Farmers’ Market (YFM) model has successfully married school gardens, local farms and community engagement to address the issue of availability of healthy foods to all segments of the city. In this interactive workshop we will explore the roles of students, teachers, and community members, and the YFM program’s abilities to address community needs and to tap into existing community resources. This includes the fundraising potential of YFMs to support long-term financial sustainability of school gardens. Finally, we will share a distribution system model that brings local farm produce into the school district.


    E4 | Rain Barrels: "Save it for a Sunny Day "

    Phil Collison | “Youth Works Program” Program Manager | Sandusky County Juvenile Court | Fremont, OH


    With a huge push to go “green” lately, municipalities are encouraging residents and homeowners to install and use rain barrels to collect rainwater. A simple and inexpensive technique with many advantages for homeowners and the environment, rain barrels also serve as a great teaching tool. In this session we will explore the benefits of rainwater harvesting, storm water management, and the future of fresh water. Participants will learn several methods for manufacturing a rain barrel and lessons to incorporate into their own programs.


    E5 | Drawing Children Into Nature: Project Curiosity

    Wendy Halperin | Children’s Book Illustrator, Creator of “Drawing Children Into Reading” | Drawing Children Into Nature | South Haven, MI


    Join children’s book illustrator Wendy Halperin for a step-by-step exploration of her in-depth plant study Project Curiosity. Topics include leaf and flower cross sections, carnivorous plants, photosynthesis, pollinators, seeds and how they travel, and more. We’ll explore these topics by drawing them using crayons, pencil and paper. Providing students opportunities and instruction to draw nature helps to hone their awareness and observational skills, and is a fun and engaging way to learn about the topics at hand. Leave with your own nature drawings, both informational and impressive! Regardless of your artistic skill, you'll leave with helpful nature information and a smile.


    E6 | It’s Herbalicious

    Barbara Thomas | Team Leader for NBES School Garden | Rockbridge Area Master Gardeners | Glasgow, VA


    This workshop is based on our annual Herb Lesson at Natural Bridge Elementary School. We’ll give an overview of the school gardening program and the three basic uses of herbs-medicinal, aromatic, and culinary. The historical use of herbs by humans around the world will be emphasized. Various herbs will be passed out for smelling, touching, and tasting. Food with herbal ingredients will be served and participants will have to guess what herb is in each dish. We’ll discuss why we choose certain recipes and herbs, and short cuts to cooking difficult recipes. Handouts will include Herb Description sheets, Herb Recipes, “Jeopardy” teaching questions, and general resources.


    E7 | Teaching the Soil Food Web

    Regina Bundy | Author/Inventor/Educator | WormWatcher | Williamsburg, VA


    Every gardener knows that a productive garden starts with good soil. Several teaching methods will be shown for how to teach children to appreciate soil as a living ecosystem! Creative, hands-on activities covering visual, drama, reading, and inquiry-based angles will be covered. We’ll focus on the soil food web and discuss nitrogen balance and organic fertilizers like "worm tea" and "compost tea." The USDA now considers worms to be biological indicators of soil quality! Let's teach the biology of the soil and go beyond sand, silt and clay.


    E8 | Grow and Learn Across the State

    Dave Francis | Extension Associate Professor | Utah State University Extension 4-H | Lehi, UT


    Utah State University Extension 4-H works with partners around the state including museums, schools, and the National Guard to get kids gardening using a variety of afterschool programs, summer camps, and 4-H clubs. These garden programs come in many sizes, locations, and times, and we will discuss strategies for a successful gardening program in a range of settings and timeframes. The presentation will cover how we’ve incorporated existing curricula into programs to teach gardening related topics, including nutrition and citizen science. Hands-on activities will demonstrate how to include these topics in youth garden programs.


    F1 | The Use of Horticulture for Job Training

    Barbara Arnold | Horticulture Program Coordinator | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH


    Discover how a job-training program can bring opportunities to your garden and your community’s youth. Hear about a successful program designed around a garden's growing season that teaches teens how to grow both a garden and themselves. They learn practical garden skills—starting seeds, growing vegetables, planting and maintaining a landscape—through classroom training, day-to-day activities and hands-on learning. They also gain important traits like patience, good teamwork, and self-confidence, and life skills such as communication, budgeting, listening, and following directions. Learn how to design a comprehensive training program that will give your participants useable job skills to thrive as employees and adults.


    F2 | Fostering Intergenerational Botanical Literacy: Lessons that Children Will Take Home

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


    In this session you will learn ways to get children to first, notice plants; then, learn the link between plants and their daily lives; and finally, take that knowledge home to their families. You will also learn how to get parents and grandparents involved in these learning experiences. We will look at current research on children’s self-directed learning in informal settings, how to spark children’s interest in plants so that they will want to learn and share plant knowledge, and how to foster plant mentorship in families. You will leave this session with a bibliography of this research and examples from children’s gardens that successfully create these experiences.


    F3 | Social Studies in the Garden: The Culture of Agriculture

    Sally Sheehan | Garden Education Coordinator | Greenacres Foundation | Cincinnati, OH
    Katie Keller | Garden Educator | Greenacres Foundation | Cincinnati, OH


    Gardens are often associated with science standards, but they create opportunities for natural connections across the curriculum. Social studies find a home in the garden as students learn how agriculture has shaped society. They can explore the past and present of cultures from all over the world, learning how food and agriculture have influenced traditions and celebrations. Children can also practice skills in economics, history, and geography. Greenacres Garden Educators have developed programs that connect to all of these areas and will share examples and strategies to push the boundaries of your garden curriculum.


    F4 | Garden-Based Education & Sustainability: The Many Benefits of Learning Gardens

    Courtney Baines-Smith | Instructor, Research Assistant, and Doctoral Student | Appalachian State University | Vilas, NC


    The presenter has created an informative three-dimensional living model that shows the many benefits of learning gardens and demonstrates how gardens can be used as a platform for teaching sustainable development principles. The model is called “biophilic-mini-garden-information-art” and can be used to clearly communicate the many benefits of learning gardens in an engaging, informative way. This creative display can be used for educational purposes and as a useful tool for encouraging policy change and implementation of learning gardens. Come learn how you can create your own creative display for educational and/or persuasive purposes.


    F5 | Have Garden, Will Travel

    Kathryn Clusman | Hershey Children’s Garden Manager | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH
    Becky Summerfield | Academic Programs Manager | Cleveland Botanical Garden | Cleveland, OH


    Find out how Cleveland Botanical Garden takes information into the community through traveling programs for schools, scouts and libraries. Cleveland Botanical Garden has taken their two most popular kindergarten - third grade classes attended at the Garden, and with a few modifications, turned them into a well-received traveling program. Learn how expanding their educational offerings helped them to make connections in the community and grow their audience.


    F6 | Versatile Edible Displays: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus

    Chase Williams | Botanical Gardens Supervisor | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH


    Get an inside look at garden installation and design through the evolving edible displays of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Community Garden Campus. See how the themes of garden spaces create interest and educational opportunities. We’ll show examples of each garden space and how it is used for everything from summer camps to school tours to hands-on classes. Keeping these gardens relevant and interesting year after year can be a challenge in itself, and creating programming based around these spaces is a collaborative effort. We’ll explore participant ideas on how these gardens can be expanded and used in different ways.


    F7 | High Tunnels as Outdoor Farm to School Classrooms

    Ted Craig | Agriculture Program Manager | Wyoming Department of Agriculture | Cheyenne, WY


    This session will showcase the opportunities a high tunnel outdoor classroom provides for all age groups to experience growing in an outdoor yet controlled environment. We will cover how a “do it yourself” high tunnel or some kits can be affordable and sustainable, and discuss soil media, raised beds, temperature control, and hydroponic growing. We’ll provide examples of successful programs at several schools in our state with colder climate and shorter growing season. Size, shape and design will be discussed as well as placement and materials. We will also touch on food safety both inside and outside the high tunnel.


    F8 | Captivating Youth Interest in Gardening with Carnivorous Plants

    Amanda Bettin | Horticulture Manager | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Columbus, OH


    Participants will learn how to use carnivorous plants to capture a young audience’s attention! Topics covered will include plant identification and care, garden installation, programming, and examples of interactive components. We’ll use the 2010 Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens exhibit “Using Savage Gardens: The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants” as an example. We’ll examine how horticulturists, garden designers, educators, and exhibit developers worked together to create this captivating exhibit, and discuss the plants and how to care for them in temporary or semi-permanent gardens.


    G1 | WILD School Sites-Moving Beyond Vegetable Gardens

    Jen Dennison | Wildlife Education Coordinator | ODNR-Division of Wildlife | Columbus, OH
    Karen Norris | Wildlife Communications Specialist | ODNR-Division of Wildlife | Columbus, OH


    WILD School Sites are an extension of the national Project WILD program. Students and teachers use their school grounds to create wildlife habitat and, in turn, use those projects in their existing curriculum. This workshop will show participants some easy and effective habitat improvement projects they can tackle with their students. We'll also discuss the logistics of developing an outdoor classroom of this type, including developing a planning committee, funding sources, and curriculum support. Materials will be provided.


    G2 | Amazing Books and Websites to Make Your Garden Program Awesome!

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


    Come discover incredible print and online resources that will make it simple to generate enthusiasm in your youth gardening program. You will find inspiration and information for urban and school gardens, recycling, nutrition, pollinators, the water cycle and much more. We will discuss using these resources to extend the classroom into the garden and increase your confidence in implementing these ideas. This material can be used as a foundation to develop a theme or to bridge into curriculum based lessons for STEAM, history, reading, and more. We will also make a couple of low cost crafts that tie in to these materials and topics. Resource hand-outs will be provided.


    G3 | Youth Gardening for Nutrition

    Heather Buritsch | Statewide Gardening for Nutrition Coordinator | University of Maryland Extension, Food Supplement Nutrition Education | Columbia, MD


    There are few comparisons for the sense of pride and accomplishment that a child feels when they first sink their teeth into a fresh vegetable from a garden that they planted, nurtured, and harvested. In this interactive session, we will learn how the University of Maryland Extension’s Growing Healthy Habits curriculum has led to a statewide boom in youth gardens. Through this easy to use curriculum, youth are exposed to the world of gardening and nutrition in a fun and exciting manner that opens their eyes to where food comes from and prepares them to make healthier choices for a lifetime.


    G4 | Growing Gardeners: Cultivating the Next Generation

    Charla Wanta | Educational Programs Manager | Washington Youth Garden | Washington, DC


    Take advantage of a 40-year history of educational youth gardening by joining the Washington Youth Garden team to learn easy techniques for engaging young people in the garden. Whether you’re a classroom teacher or gardening parent, we’ll equip you with fun and simple garden activities, science concepts, and a solid list of kid-friendly plants for your garden. We'll be singing, racing, tasting, and learning science. This workshop is based on the best and most transferable aspects of our well-reviewed science and nutrition field trip program for students of all ages. Many of the activities we'll be sharing align with STEM and NGSS.


    G5 | Using Technology to Teach Classification, Process Skills, and Identification

    Cindy Maravich | Senior Environmental Educator | Inniswood Metro Gardens | Westerville, OH


    Students Exploring Ecosystem Dynamics (S.E.E.D.) is a fifth grade life science curriculum developed by the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, involving in-class and field trip activities and lessons. Experience the technology-based field trip lesson, entitled Critter Scene Investigation (C.S.I.), in which students use electronic field guides on iPods to identify natural history artifacts. Then, learn about and experience Inniswood Metro Gardens’ new pilot project, using the same framework to identify garden and plant artifacts. Through this lesson students are able to use technology to help identify and inventory items such as animal tracks, birds, and tree nuts; use process skills; differentiate among scientific tools; and communicate findings.


    G6 | How and Why to Teach Outdoors

    John Cawood | Education Program Coordinator | Openlands | Chicago, IL


    In this high-energy workshop intended for formal educators, you will learn how to how to use your school garden as an extension of your classroom and the benefits of teaching outside. Participants will model a hands-on outdoor lesson and engage in break-out sessions and group discussion to learn best practices for teaching outdoors. We’ll also discuss current research supporting the benefits of teaching outdoors, and resources that support outdoor education. Openlands has installed 56 school gardens in Chicago and in 2013 began teaching the “How and Why to Teach Outdoors” workshop to all staff at each of these schools.


    G7 | Garden Gratitude Flags Workshop

    Dar Hosta-James | Artist, Author & Educator | Brown Dog Books | Flemington, NJ


    Studies show that gratitude can be cultivated and that it has a profound effect on our personal well being, our feelings of happiness and our energy level. It increases our connection to the planet and our ability to feel empathy for others. In this hands-on workshop we will create a colorful set of weather-resistant Gratitude Flags to beautify any garden, inspired by Tibetan Prayer Flags, using recycled materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Participants will also receive prompts to experience and teach their own “Month of Gratitude” and ideas on how this simple focus is a natural tie-in for nature based curricula and education.


    G8 | Bees, Bats and Butterflies, Oh My!

    Bonny Hajducko | Office Manager/Horticulture & Agricultural Educator | Broward County Farm Bureau | Margate, FL


    What do bees, bats and butterflies have in common? They are some of the major pollinators in the world today. We will explore these flying marvels through games and hands-on activities designed to teach as well as entertain an elementary and middle school audience. Participants will be on their feet in a “learning by doing” session and creating crafts related to the lives of these amazing creatures. Leave with fresh teaching ideas and information that should spark newfound interest in the wonderful world of pollination.