Our staff are leaders in farm and garden education networks providing resources, connections, professional development, and learning opportunities. Our aim in each of these efforts is to encourage the growth of sustainable, equitable, and vibrant school garden programs.
School Learning Garden Network
Since its inception in 2014, the Seattle Learning Garden Network (SLGN) has become an important network for sharing learning with and supporting teachers, families, community members, and other stakeholders invested in school gardens and sustainability. Seattle Public Schools Self Help Program (Facilities), Tilth Alliance and IslandWood co-convene the quarterly meetings and annual workshop, along with many other community-based organizations. Reaching across the Puget Sound and beyond, the SLGN reaches over 600 members.
We meet at a different school garden at each quarterly meeting to learn about what is happening outdoors at schools across the district. The meetings include a presentation about a seasonal and outdoor classroom topic, meaningful information sharing, shared activities, resources, and a chance to network with other school gardeners. School gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and while many are annual food gardens, we also learn and visit gardens such as rain, native, wildlife, restoration, herb, wetlands, and permaculture gardens.
Ultimately, our goal is for each member of the SLGN to better serve students through sustainable outdoor & garden education. Connecting in person or virtually with other outdoor and garden educators not only helps with resource sharing, but provides another form of support to educators that they might not find elsewhere. We are excited about how this large network supports outdoor educators and families in helping to create sustainable programs and foster their students’ natural curiosity of the outdoors into effective learning spaces and stewardship.
Sign up to receive SLGN updates. Presentation recordings from 2020 and 2021 are available at the SPS Self Help website.
Washington Farm to School Network
The purpose of the Washington Farm to School Network is to grow farm to school activities in Washington state. The Network is made up of practitioners from across the state, with multiple Communities of Practice that are organized by topic, and also geographically. Members meet quarterly virtually to share resources and best practices, networks, and connect with and advocate for farm to school efforts across the state.
Tilth Alliance (Seattle, statewide) is a co-facilitator of the School Gardens and Farm-Based Educators Community of Practice, along with Common Threads (Bellingham), the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (Olympia, statewide), and WSU Extension Region 3 SNAP-Education (Puyallup). Members include school garden coordinators, farm-based educators, community based organizations, school teachers, and other practitioners meet quarterly to share and learn from one another.
You can join the Network by signing up here. We hope to see you next time!