Growing School Gardens

part of the reason why my blog went defunct is because my work and personal schedules are insane. in 2009, i think i will try to let more of my work (like the green home build project) spill over into the blogosphere so that it feels more connected for me and less like one more 'task'.

one of the things i'm working on as i return back to work on monday (eek) is the collaborative implementation of a project of mayoral committee i am on which is tasked to devise a plan to incorporate "learning landscapes" at every one of the roughly 600 chicago public schools. this initiative currently dubbed, "growing school gardens" is exciting for a number of obvious reasons. my angle in this though is both the green design education AND the workforce development aspect for students. given the "green collar jobs" movement and also the lack of diversity in fields of environmental conservation and landscape architecture i feel like it is a tremendous opportunity to both educate students about the depth and significance of these fields but also give them real tangible training and work experience in designing, installing, maintaining and advocating for these critical spaces that will impact them now by enriching their educational experience and by offering a living wage...instead of always paying adults/companies to do it. this effort is only at the very beginning and has a lot of tentacles with some really amazing non-profits leading the way, such as openlands, chicago botanic gardens, and chicago wilderness federation (leave no child inside) and municipal groups like the the chicago park district and department of planning. more to come on this budding initiative set to make its first debut this summer with the installation of five new sites.

one thing i hope to do is incorporate the work of chicago based archi-treasures...they did a bang up job on their first of a 3 part professional development for my high-school career and technical education teachers in areas of architectural design+drafting, construction, and agriculture on how to create learning landscapes on school grounds this fall.


Blogger Thomas said...

Very cool. Great to see what you are up to and your profile/purpose with design. Have you seen the whole tree and strawbale facilities at Angelic Organics Learning Center or met our urban staff in Chicago (office at 6400 s. kimbark)? Check us out at www.learngrowconnect.org and see the facility at www.wholetreesarchitecture.com/gallery2/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=122
Let us know if we can host you and share some design, farm, or urban ag stories. Tom Spaulding


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