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School gardens conference planned in May

4/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

COLUMBUS — A one-day conference called “Growing a School Garden 101” will take place May 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive.

The workshop is designed for school and afterschool program personnel, as well as community partners, church personnel and interested parents.

“Using the environment as a context for learning is an incredible tool,” said Susan Hogan, program assistant for the OSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program. “Gardening at school sites addresses many of the science academic content standards and also increases social and interpersonal skills.”

Hogan, who has experience working in environmental education, joined OSU Extension in December.

Other benefits of school gardens, Hogan said, include: incorporating physical activity into the school day, increasing awareness of the environment and environmental issues, and encouraging children to eat fresh produce.

“You’re more likely to eat it if you’ve helped grow it,” Hogan said.

Registration, due by April 26, is $35 and includes lunch. The workshop is limited to 50 participants. To register, send a check payable to OSU Extension to OSU Extension, Franklin County, 2105 S. Hamilton Road, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43232-4145, or contact Hogan at hogan.239@osu.edu for a registration form. For more information, call Hogan at 614-866-6900, ext. 214.

The morning agenda will include:

  • “Stakeholders and Funders: Cultivating Partnerships,” by Bill Dawson, Franklin Park Conservatory;
  • “How Does Your Garden Grow: Garden Selection, Design and Other Logistics,” by Tress Augustine and Peggy Murphy, OSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers;
  • “From Seed to Sprout: Engaging Youth,” by James Reding, Granville Exempted Village School District;
  • “Reaping the Benefits: From the Garden to the Cafeteria and Beyond,” by Charles Dilbone, Granville Exempted Village School District;
  • “Growing Good Habits: Garden-Related Health and Fitness,” by Marilyn Rabe, OSU Extension, family and consumer sciences and Franklin County Extension office director;
  • “A Bountiful Harvest”: question-and-answer panel presentation;
  • “Everything’s Coming up Clovers: Making the 4-H and Extension Connection,” by Beth Boomershine, OSU Extension, 4-H Youth Development; and
  • “Container Gardening,” by Job Ebenezer, Technology for the Poor, Westerville.

In the afternoon, participants will tour Chadwick Arboretum on the OSU campus and participate in a container gardening activity with volunteer Julia Hays. Later they will visit the school/community garden on Highland Avenue where volunteers, students and teachers will share their experiences.

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