A few years ago, the Rhode Island Center for Agricultural Promotion and Education (RICAPE) assembled a working group of gardeners, landscape designers, teachers and others to explore what it would take to see a children's garden at every school and youth organization in Rhode Island by the year 2010.
For several months, we met to talk about how to connect the many dots given the many challenges to doing so. We looked at what could be done in the summertime when the schools are closed. How gardens could be financed. How to link existing garden programs to new ones. How to match garden activities to curricula and state standards. How to conduct student, teacher, volunteer and community training, and how to build and sustain community support.
No children's garden will succeed without these issues being addressed.
What We Learned
We wish to thank the following folks who along with members of our CGN Team, participated in our early visioning meetings and through their work and support played an important role in the creation of the Children's Garden Network:
John Bradley, East Greenwich, Bradley Grove Hyson, the Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living, John and Joyce Holscher, the Good Earth Organic Gardening Center, Lisa Gibson McMahon, Saunderstown, Kiera Mulvey, (Former Education Director) Southside Community Land Trust, Doreen Pezza, Pezza Farm
We wish to also acknowledge the many people and organizations already engaged in school and youth garden efforts in Rhode Island and elsewhere whose work inspires our own.
About the Children's Garden Network
The Children's Garden Network is a program of the Rhode Island Center for Agriculture Promotion & Education(RICAPE). It was started in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island College of the Environment and Life Sciences (URI/CELS) and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association (RINLA).
Original funding to RICAPE for this initiative comes from a federal appropriation through the office of Rep. Patrick Kennedy. Long-term, RICAPE is also engaged in a variety of fund development strategies to secure grants, donations and the creation of an endowment to provide funding to grow and support the Children's Garden Network and to reach the goals for 2010 and beyond.
RICAPE is an independent 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Rhode Island's agriculture and horticulture and education about them. Operations and programs are supported solely through donations, gifts, grants and fees for service. RICAPE is an equal opportunity provider.
In accordance with Federal law and US Department of Agriculture policy, RICAPE does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington D.C., 20250-9410, or call (800)795-3272 (voice) or (202)720-6382 (TDD