Pierce County Coalition for Environmental Health Priorities Aug 2009 draft School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 1 of 7 - PDF

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School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 1 of 7 GOALS: Educate and assist community members to increase local food production in school, community, and container gardens. Use gardening techniques
School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 1 of 7 GOALS: Educate and assist community members to increase local food production in school, community, and container gardens. Use gardening techniques to reduce exposure to toxics already in the soil, and not add new toxics: o Raised beds and containers with organic soil amendments o Organic gardening methods o Washing hands and other personal hygiene practices Multigenerational outreach and assistance year round multiuse for all, including low income and immigrant communities, veterans, parents and children. Workshops on local food production: o Ways to grow food in our region how, what, where, and when o Where our food comes from, costs, environmental impacts Promote water conservation. Promote distribution to local food banks, by bicycle. MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES: By the end of the grant period we will: o Create at least 3 new community and/or school gardens. o Hold at least 5 community workshops to educate and assist children, youth and adults on local food production strategies. o Assist at least 50 households with growing food at community gardens and/or in container gardens. Safely collect and dispose of at least 250 pounds of old toxic garden products. Additional environmental health risks or benefits from action: Reduced health risks from exposure, depending on the pesticide: nervous system, skin and eyes, cancer, and hormone or endocrine disruption (EPA). Lower environmental and energy impacts from transporting foods, including air toxics such as diesel particulates and stormwater runoff from vehicles. Improved surface water and ground water quality from reducing use of pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers. Improved water quantity from rain barrels, water reuse and conservation. Improved soil quality in raised beds and containers. More exercise for those working in the gardens. More children, youth and adults who understand food systems and related environmental health impacts. Improving our local food supply - especially important during emergencies. Who s most vulnerable to risks or benefits: Benefits everyone as it produces more locally grown healthy foods. Benefits food banks - excess food produced will be donated to local food banks. Benefits low income children, youth and adults who didn t before have resources to grow their own foods and access to buying healthy, fresh foods. Children and others who are overweight and not eating enough fresh produce may be at increased risk from toxic chemicals, since many toxic chemicals are School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 2 of 7 stored in body fat. A diet high in Vitamin C improves iron absorption, which decreases lead absorption, resulting in a lower burden of lead. Veterans and others with that can benefit from horticultural therapy. Benefits include reducing physical pain, improving memory and concentration, and easing emotional pain from bereavement or abuse (Horticultural Therapy, Worden, et al, University of Florida. Economic costs or benefits: 1. Access to free and low cost fresh produce for those growing food in the school, community, and container gardens. Schools, students, parents and others will save money, since gardens and gleaning can provide fresh produce for school lunches and residents. Even greater savings for immigrants and others growing culturally preferred foods that might be more expensive specialties. 2. Youth will learn how to develop and run programs with peers, teachers, volunteers and professionals. This will include scientific, farming, economic, communication and management skills. 3. Employment for someone to help coordinate students, teachers, parents, and others involved during the school year and summer. WHO? Action level (neighborhood, watershed, county, etc): Community/neighborhood level: workshops, school and community gardens Individual: container gardening School District: encourage participation of local schools PARTNER organization and individual(s): Letters of support received from: Friends of Pierce County, Graham-Kapowsin Community Council, Graham Self Reliant Community, Healthy Communities of Pierce County, Washington State University Pierce County Extension FARM Program Farmbudsman and Agricultural Educator. Some community gardens already underway in Pierce County: 1. The Spanaway United Methodist Church has a 40'by 40'garden to provide fresh veggies to Spanaway Food Bank. 2. The Self Reliant Community has planted a 60'by 100'garden at the McGee Guest Home in Graham. It will be up to the McGee staff and guests to water, weed, and harvest, though. 3. The Graham Community Garden is growing and doing well. 4. At Manitou Community Center: 4806 South 66 th, Tacoma, Sumner, at Shepherds Field, 245 Valley Avenue E:, 6. Puyallup, Brown's Park, th Ave SW, 7. Tacoma: Franklin, Kandle, Proctor: 8. Get Growing Midlands, raised beds for seniors and others School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 3 of 7 Additional possible partners: active and retired farmers; school organizations; 4H clubs, Future Farmers of America; Master Gardeners of Pierce County and Pierce County WSU Extension, WSU Small Farm program; Farmers Markets; Safe Streets; Prisons; Pierce Conservation District; OSPI Education for Environment and Sustainability Program, Gilda Wheeler; School Districts, Terry Bouck; PTAs; Alicia Lawver from City of Tacoma and Growing Conversations; Pierce County ACHIEVE, KIRSTEN FRANDSEN; UW Seattle Integrated EH Middle School Project: Katie Frevert developed curricula WA State Dept. of Ecology Dirt Alert Program: Hannah Aoyagi developing curricula; Wynne Brown, Tacoma middle school teacher had school-community garden; Sue Bernstein, HFJ Community Services; Native American Tribal Councils; Asian Community Organizations; Kitsap County Peg Tilley, WSU Extension; Coordinated School Health, WSDOH & OSPI, depts.washington.edu/waschool/components/nutr_serv/school_gardens.html HOW? STRATEGIES and STEPS to reach goal WHEN? TIMELINE: School Program planning, building support (Gardening from Schools to Table?) 1. Find out about fit with existing programs and interest in school staff, Contact schools: Fall 2008 Terry Bouck (Carmela) Minter Creek Elementary: Steve Leitz, Principal th Ave. NW, Gig Harbor, Also: Discovery, Artondale, Purdy, Harbor Heights, Vaughan, Gig Harbor High School, and McKinley Elementary School (past interest, raised beds already on the school ground, would serve diverse community members). 2. Contact OSPI re fit with EALRs: Fall 2008 Science and Nutrition EALRs, Communication, Social Studies also: Sustainable Design curricula: /SustainableDesign.aspx Successful programs described in Environmental. Ed. Report, 2007: pdf Curricula used at Tacoma schools: Lowell & Bryant Elementary 3. Find out about fit with other programs and organizations interests Ongoing WSU Square Foot Nutrition Program: Jodie DuBois, The largest school garden program in Pacific Northwest, Steve Garrett says. School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 4 of 7 4. Find out about interest among community leaders, elected officials Ongoing Julie Anderson, Lauren Walker, Marilyn Strickland (Tacoma City Council) Terry Lee (Pierce County Council) Marian Berejikian Friends of Pierce County Tacoma Nature Center, Boys & Girls Club, other 5. Identify available land, preferably near or at schools, Ongoing accessible to school and community members 6. Identify possible partners and volunteers: Ongoing Washington Tilth Marty Webb Veterans, Fort Lewis, Wounded Warriors and others Maria Shabazz Horticultural Therapy with Veterans: Maria Shabazz contacted Kim Brown, Veteran Affairs, Senator Patty Murray s office (excited about including veterans). Additional contacts: Major General Patricia Horoho, Madigan Army Medical Center; Sam Johnson, VA Puget Sound Health Care System; Wounded Warriors Master Gardeners, Senior Centers, Women s Correctional Institution, Peninsula Light they send out workshop info in bills, students School Program implementation: start local and grow to county-wide program 1. Identify local school with administration and community support, and Ongoing land near or at school available and suitable for farming/gardening: Find out what soil and water testing has already occurred Test soils for nutrients, contaminants, and ph Test water for contaminants Share information with school principal, teachers, students, and community 2. Hire paid employee to help: Nov - Dec 2009 Coordinate students, teachers, parents, and others involved Organize community workshops Identify existing educational materials that can be adapted Adapt materials to make them user friendly for a variety of community members Provide continuity for garden activities during the school year and summer. 3. Hold community workshops: February 2010 May 2011 Hold with students, teachers, professionals, volunteers, and other community members. Invite appropriate additional technical speakers. Hold at schools, community-based organizations, libraries and other places that serve low income neighborhoods and residents. Topics: o Where does your food come from? Why grow local? o What food to grow? Which plants work for your climate, location and soils? o How to grow it? Organic methods for healthier soil, water, air, food and people. School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 5 of 7 o Why not to buy or use toxic products? How to dispose of toxic products? o Collect and safely dispose of old pesticides and other chemicals. o Provide container gardening materials and tools. Interview participants about their pre-workshop pesticide and chemical purchases, use and disposal. Interview participants one and six months later about their pesticide and chemical purchases, use and disposal. Ask also about gardening experiences and challenges, and answer any questions. 4. Create school and community gardens: March 2010 June 2011 Involve teachers and students from science, environmental, vocational, forestry, farming, shops (construction, woodworking, welding, etc), economics, others. Interview participants before and during involvement about gardening products: pesticide and chemical purchases, use and disposal. Build physical infrastructure with teachers, students, volunteers: raised beds, retractable and portable greenhouses, cold frames, for winter gardening. Harvest food! Give excess food to local food bank and/or sell at farmers market. CHALLENGES and BARRIERS: Deer, insects, raccoons and other pests. ASSETS and RESOURCES: What do you HAVE to get this done? Growing interest in community gardens and concern about food supply among community members, elected officials, organizations and agencies locally and nationally. City of Tacoma has created a buy local theme and encouraging local food access. ACHIEVE initiative focusing on policy, including rights to garden on vacant property, water issues, improving water access, supporting transfer of development rights. Also on Community Gardener position for City of Tacoma and for County. What do you NEED to get this done? More LEADERSHIP and teamwork: it will take a lot of people coming together to make it happen, including a plan for taking care of the school gardens during the summer. Locations for the community gardens that are accessible to children, Veterans, and others, including people in wheelchairs. Possible funding sources: Bette Midler Foundation? Kellogg Foundation? American Community Gardening Association: Green Partnership Fund: Contact Sherrana Kildun with any questions: T: F: School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 6 of 7 Information sources, references, best practices: Pesticides, Integrated Pest Management: WSU Pierce County Extension, Master Gardeners: Nicole Martini (253) , IPM: WS Dept. of Ecology: EPA: WA Toxics Coalition: Steven Gilbert: USGS studies of pesticides in Puget Sound urban streams: Rainwater harvesting: WS Dept. of Ecology: Proposed rainwater rulemaking: PEP-C water barrels: Examples of community and school gardening programs, possible best practices: Tacoma schools: Lowell, Bryant, McKinley and other schools Orca Elementary garden in Seattle, turns into pea-patch in the summer Lincoln Elementary garden in Olympia, great support from parents, wonderful harvest festival WSU Master Gardeners demonstration garden at Sehmel Homestead Park. Nuestras Raíces, Massachusetts: food, agriculture and the environment projects include: Community Gardens, Youth Leadership, Economic Development, A Women's Leadership Group, Environmental Justice Organizing, and the Tierra de Oportunidades Farm: Links to additional organizations: American Community Gardening Association: Brooklyn Botanical Garden information: School and Community Gardening Action Plan Page 7 of 7 Proposed EPA CARE Level 2 Two-Year Budget Contractual: Gardener/Coordinator to: Recruit, train and oversee volunteers. Coordinate interviewing project participants about use of gardening products and toxicity. Coordinate at least 5 community sustainable food workshops. Invite appropriate technical speakers. Work with schools to install raised bed gardens & educate children & parents on growing safe & healthy foods. Share extra harvest with local food banks. Oversee creation of at least 3 community &/or school gardens. Oversee collection and proper disposal of toxic gardening products. Supplies: Garden supplies and tools Wheelbarrows, compost bins, greenhouse, hand tools, gloves, shovels, seeds, plants, materials for raised beds & container gardens, etc. as needed. At the end of the grant period at least 50 families will have used these materials to have successfully harvested sustainably grown organic food as a result of this project. Other: Meeting Food Healthy, tasty, locally-grown food at 10 community workshops and 15 additional work parties to create school and community gardens: 25 $150/meeting/work party Supplies: Education Materials Purchasing and/or altering and developing fact sheets, children s books, puppets, and classroom curricula on natural yard care, Integrated Pest Management, organic gardening, human health, watershed health, and water conservation. Contractual: Translation Services Translate user friendly education materials into Spanish, Korean, Russian, or other languages needed. 50 $35/hour $20,000 $5,000 $3,750 $5,000 $1,750 Supplies: Printing Printing educational materials in English and other languages $2,500 Contractual: Waste Disposal Safe disposal of toxic gardening products collected and other noncompostable materials. $2,000 Total budget for 2 years $40,000
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