resources for garden educators

In last week’s blog Sarah spotlighted the incredible work that the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network has done to support the continuation of youth garden activities during COVID-19. Beyond their special COVID-19 resource page, the network is hosting weekly gatherings that allow folks to share ideas and best practices on topics ranging from remote learning to organizational resiliency. I’ve really enjoyed tuning into these gatherings and hearing about the creative ways folks are responding to school closures, stay-at-home orders, and physical distancing protocols. 

Participating in these virtual gatherings has also prompted me to think about other opportunities for remote information sharing, learning, and professional development. Here some ongoing and upcoming webinars and online classes that might be of interest to other garden-based educators:

  • SGSO’s archived webinars: Fellow KidsGardening Educational Specialist Sarah Pounders and I have participated in some of the SGSO Network’s previous webinars. Beyond this extensive list of recordings that cover everything from best practices for crowdfunding to school and community farm stands, the network also lists webinars from a number of like organizations including the National Farm to School Network and the Whole Kids Foundation. SGSO’s COVID-19 related Virtual Gatherings can also be accessed via link on this page.
  • Prescott College’s Food Systems Friday: If you’re interested in how the food system is being affected by COVID-19 this is the webinar for you. Addressing topics from food security to culinary education, this weekly series brings in experts from the field to share their experiences and insights (Episode 4 on School and Community Garden features yours truly). While it’s a fun listen in and of itself, it could also be a useful resource and potential topic of discussion for high school culinary and ag classes. 
  • PennState Extension’s Victory Garden Reinvented!: Penn State Extension’s Master Gardener Program has been hosting a free webinar series that provides recommendations for vegetable growers (think succession planting and integrated pest management). Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just getting started, these weekly hour-long classes are great for deepening your planting knowledge. Your state’s Extension Program might be offering their own programming, so be sure to see what’s available locally to get the most relevant information for your growing climate.
  • Teaching in Nature’s Classroom: Our friends at Life Lab, the Wisconsin School Garden Network, and Rooted are teaming up to bring you a 15-week self-guided course on approaches to garden-based education. This seems like a great opportunity for folks interested in reflecting on their teaching practices and taking their school garden program to the next level. Definitely take a look at this one and sign-up before the class is full.

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