Greetings from Fiona Doherty, Educator Enrichment Specialist with Cornell Garden-Based Learning! We are a partner of the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and helped facilitate a portion of PFP’s 2016 Summer Institute. I am a guest blogger and would like to highlight some of the resources our program offers.
We are based in Ithaca, NY on the Cornell University campus and we serve all of New York State. Our mission is to provide educators with inspiring, research-based gardening resources and professional development to support engaging, empowering and relevant learning experiences for children, youth, adults and communities.
We offer a bounty of free web-based resources including curriculum, guides for planning and organizing garden programs, an evaluation toolkit, and much more! One of my favorite curriculum pieces is Dig Art! Cultivating Creativity in the Garden. It integrates gardening with the arts through plant-based fabric dyeing, gourd crafts, seed mosaics and other engaging activities. Youth Grow is another favorite- a leadership program that prepares teens to become actively involved in their local food systems.
Last winter we partnered with the American Horticultural Society to adapt and update Sowing the Seeds of Success, a web-based resource designed to walk you through the organizational aspects of a gardening program. This is a great place to start if you are looking to organize a youth or community garden program OR if you are looking for ways to strengthen an existing program. Topics include Partnerships, Planning Your Design, Effective Community Engagement and Sustaining the Garden. Are you looking for benefits and research behind garden-based learning? We have that too!
A primary focus of my job is collaborating with regional Cornell Cooperative Extension offices to facilitate educator enrichment workshops. These are professional development workshops for CCE Educators, MGV or school teachers who engage youth in the garden setting. Topics range from effective youth engagement, positive youth development, program organization or they can focus on more hands-on skills such as seed starting or composting. Interested in partnering with your local CCE to host a workshop? Contact me at Fcd9[at]cornell[dot]edu. I look forward to hearing from you!