The American Community Gardening Association and member organization Peterson Garden Project have been working since 2012 on a grant that promotes environmental education in the community garden setting. Due to funding delays, the program began in earnest in 2014. (Note: Another program in this grant was conducted with member organization Metro Atlanta Urban Farm in 2014 as well.)
The goal of the grant was to highlight for other garden organizations how environmental education can be shared in a community garden setting. Community gardening was selected (as one of many other outreach methods) as part of this massive grant endeavor because gardening is a natural fit to heighten environmental awareness and offer places for environmental education. The Peterson Garden Project was selected because their mandate is to teach food gardening to urban dwellers.
Educating other community garden organizations and creating a dialogue around environmental education is the goal of the ACGA/Peterson Garden Project part of the grant.
To accomplish this, several outreach methods were used including lectures at the ACGA annual conference (this happened in 2012 and 14) and ACGA Expert Panels. We have also been sharing educational material via the ACGA Facebook page.
The results of the grant will be available by December 31 on the ACGA website. You’ll find two videos: one that shows how PGP integrates education into their program and one that shows the outcome of environmental education via an interview format modeled on Garden Mosaics.
(If you are unaware of the Garden Mosaics program, you can learn more about this intergenerational garden program on our website HERE.
In addition, lesson plans on environmental education topics that can be used in a community garden setting will be made available for PDF download.
So stay tuned! We’ll announce it when the materials are ready to share (hint: they’ll be in the PROGRAM section of the ACGA website). And, since the goal is outreach to help YOU integrate environmental education into YOUR community garden program, we look forward to your feedback!
Update: The lesson files are now available on the ACGA website! Click here to view.