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  • Seed Your Future

    ~promoting horticulture as a vital, viable, and exciting career path for students

    Seed Your Future

    AHS and Seed Your Future

    NCYGS attendees spoke and AHS listened!  Last year's National Children & Youth Garden Symposium attendees requested more educational resources for engaging middle and high school students.  As you may know, AHS has been partnering with Seed Your Future, a national movement that began in 2013 to promote horticulture as a vital, viable, and exciting career path for the nation's youth.  Seed Your Future envisions a world where every U.S. student knows the meaning and importance of horticulture.  Seed Your Future wants the next generation of leaders in this invaluable field poised to fill the wealth of job opportunities available to them.  

    At this year's NCYGS, thanks to generous funding from Ball Horticultural, we will offer dedicated sessions for educators working with teens and 'tweens' in outdoor spaces.  The Seed Your Future logo appearing next to an educational session signifies that the session's focus aligns with the Seed Your Future movement and its goals.

    For even more resources, Seed Your Future has teamed up with Scholastic to launch a brand new website, BLOOM!, with free curriculum for use inside and outside the classroom.  The companion website, WeAreBloom.org, was designed especially for students.  Colorful graphics, fun games, and a digital module will grab students' attention but lessons convey an important message about the vitality of plants and the viability of plant-based careers.


    Seed Your Future sessions

    Bringing High School Horticulture into the 21st Century
    Kimberly Griggs | Horticulture Teacher | Mercer Island School District | Redmond, WA

    With technology so abundant in today’s society, its use is second nature to the next generation. From the perspective of a first year horticulture teacher, attendees will learn technology integration techniques that can be used in the classroom.  This session is geared towards high school science and horticulture educators.  Participants will discuss ways of integrating technology, inquiry based activities, student-inspired projects, and mindfulness in the classroom.


    Changemakers- Fostering the Future of the Outdoors
    Lisa Reichenberger | Director of Environmental Education | Old Westbury Gardens | Old Westbury, NY

    Open the outdoors to the next generation of environmental professionals!  This session will explore the many ways that outdoor career exploration for middle school students can jump start a wealth of opportunities for their futures.  Hear how hands-on mentoring experience in environmental fields will set students up for success in both their professional and personal lives.  This lecture explains how to broaden student horizons by providing them with hands-on experience in the fields of horticulture, plant science, environmental education, and beyond.


    Engaging youth in community through urban garden employment
    Alex Samoray | Americorps VISTA | Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County |Oriskany, NY
    Holly Wise | Consumer Horticulture Resource Educator | Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County | Oriskany, NY


    Join us to learn how to run a teen employment urban garden program with an emphasis on placemaking.  Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value, primarily by strengthening the connection between people and the places they inhabit.  Through this lens, teens learn to grow fruits and vegetables while fostering community through teach-back lessons at various community gardens and through produce donation initiatives.


    How to be a Cool Plantologist and Inspire Kids Toward Green Collar Careers
    Susan Yoder | Executive Director | Seed Your Future | Martinsville, IN

    College and university horticulture programs are shrinking, and horticulture firms, plant education programs and public gardens are challenged to fill their open positions.  To change this paradigm, the Seed Your Future (SYF) movement was born.  This session will present an overview of SYF research and share new resources available to garden educators to help introduce kids to the joy of plants and explore careers in horticulture.


    Teaching Sustainability through the Lens of Outdoor Experiences
    Julie Taylor | Horticulture Coordinator | John G. Shedd Aquarium | Chicago, Il
    Donna Levy | Environmental Educator | Cornell Botanic Garden | Ithaca, NY


    This collaborative session explores the nuts and bolts of running teen programming and the outcomes and impacts on the participating teens.  While their approaches differ in scope and focus, both teen programs tackle gardening, as well as local and global sustainability topics. Participants will learn how to help teens develop an appreciation for the environment, obtain knowledge and skills to become environmental advocates, and make informed choices about higher education or employment in the fields of horticulture, agriculture, and environmental conservation.

    Over 40 other sessions will be offered at the symposium to help educators creatively tackle issues such as maximizing growing space, aliging garden lessons to standards, and cultivating community partnerships.