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A 40-year-old White woman in a green shirt stands smiling at the camera. The background is a blurred, well-lit interior.
Emily Shipman
Executive Director
Em’s vision is grounded in the principle that children are able to realize their full potential when they have access to healthy food and hands-on, outdoor play, and learning opportunities. She is working to ensure the next generations of young people become the tidal wave of social and environmental change leaders needed to alter our trajectory and heal our planet and people.
Em is a nonprofit executive with nearly 20 years of experience leading transformative programs in food systems, agriculture, and education. She holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Anthropology from Hobart and William Smith College and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Marlboro College Graduate School.
For as long as Em can remember she has been committed to growing community. She is a passionate advocate for children and the planet and believes that garden-based learning and hands-on, placed-based education benefit both. Em has also worked as a professional gardener and garden designer and spends all of her free time (and then some) digging in the dirt. As a mom of two young boys, Em knows that gardening helps kids:
  • Slow down and notice things, calm their minds and bodies
  • Reconnect to their natural surroundings, their senses, bodies, and minds
  • Feel healthier and more alive by getting physical activity, vitamin D, and fresh air
  • Eat better by connecting to where their fruits and veggies come from
  • Cultivate a growth mindset, learning to appreciate “mistakes” as fun opportunities to try something new the next time
  • Grow and nurture their sense of curiosity, joy, and wonder in the natural world and its processes
Em chairs her local school forest committee, volunteers for an award-winning Vermont-based children’s science museum, and sits on the School Garden Support Organization’s (SGSO) Governance Board.