Transition Whatcom

Growing Children In School Gardens - Sharing Information & Events of the blossoming school gardens in whatcom county & bellingham.
Share your news, your events, and your joys in working with children on the earth!

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Whatcom County School Garden Collective -website & info

posted from their website news - cut & pasted Nov 9th

What do Roosevelt, Birchwood, Columbia, and Beach Elementary Schools, the Lummi Nation School and Squalicum High School have in common? They're all charter members of the Whatcom County School Garden Collective (WCSGC), a project of Common Threads Farm. Beginning this fall, each of these schools will have access to a part-time paid garden educator, a garden-based curricular resource library, and assistance in coordinating the various resources needed to develop and maintain a thriving garden-based learning environment. Congratulations and welcome! We are so very pleased to be taking our passion for seed-to-table learning off the farm and into the schools. If you would like to be involved in this project as a volunteer or supporter or if you are affiliated with a school that would like to apply for future grant support from the WCSGC, please feel free to contact us.

More information will be available on the Common Threads Farm website, or join us on facebook (look for Whatcom County School Garden Collective.)

This work would not be possible without the support of the Mary Redman Foundation and the Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation. Thank you

from facebook site of Whatcom County School Garden Collective Nov 9th
per Brianne McDonough
If you are a teacher or parent and would like to learn more about how to get school garden support at your school, or if you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, please contact Laura at 360-927-1590, or by e-mail at
*Please visit and join the Whatcom County School Garden Facebook page! We greatly appreciate all of your support!


Roosevelt School Garden Workparty

Time: November 21, 2009 from 10am to 1pm
Location: Roosevelt Elementary - At the Back of the School

Come help sheet mulch the large area that is to become Roosevelt Elementary School's Garden! We will also be building a fence composed of recycled fish netting. Bring gloves and a shovel and if you happen to have a pickup, that would be tremendously helpful!

School Garden's website page with garden needs & work-party info at:
'Starting a School Garden or Planning for On-Going Garden Coordination'
. . "If you’re thinking about Starting a School Garden or planning for On-Going Garden Coordination , we hope the Whatcom County School Garden Collective can be useful to you. Applications for support are accepted twice annually - in December for schools wishing to begin their gardens in the spring, and in May for schools wishing to start a new garden in the fall. If you would like to be kept up to date with school garden news, including upcoming information sharing workshops and gatherings, please contact us at ' laura at '.." (endquote)
. . . .above from the Common Threads Farm website 11/09:

Link to "Starting a School Garden"

Link to "School Garden Coordinator "Job Description"

Link to application for support starting a school garden or desiring support from the 'Whatcom County School Garden Collective'
Hi, Heather and all,
I'm glad you are supporting this movement, Heather. I've been following it in the newspaper. This is vitally important to all of us for our future. Anything and everything we can do to teach ourselves to feed ourselves again Must be Encouraged, including fostering an interest in young people for the Joy of Growing food. I say YEA and YEA!
I just cut and pasted the summary I had over under the Food Security Events group and posted it here for other folks to see. A quick update regarding the Whatcom County School Garden Collective (WCSGC). We're a non-profit group formed earlier this summer from a diverse group of individuals who were all, in some way, interested or active in school gardens. We decided to combine our energy into a collective to support one another and make sure no one was reinventing the wheel. The committee is open to anyone interested, but currently is made up of teachers, parents and a couple of us who want to help see gardens at schools. We have funding and were able to provide grants of resources and people power to six different schools in the county including Roosevelt, Columbia, Birchwood and Beach Elementary, Squalicum High and Lummi Nation School. I have the privilege of working with two other women as a "Garden Corps Educator" which requires us to work with our schools (I'm in charge of Roosevelt and Squalicum) to create the gardens, motivate the community, work with kiddos, help create sustainable procedures for caring for the garden and much more. My two schools are starting from flat, grassy fields and turning them into gardens, Lummi Nation is in this same boat. The other schools have established gardens in some way, shape or form and we're working on getting teachers comfortable out in the garden, providing extra support, etc. We're looking for help at workparties (I'll post them under the events category), resources (tools, lumber, straw, plants, etc) as well as volunteer "experts" who can help with lessons, garden care over the summer, etc. All the gardens are in different stages, but if you're interested in helping out somehow, let me know! It's pretty quiet this time of the year, but come spring, action and growth will abound. Cheers!
Thankyou for posting this info. I have so much enthusiam and spirit for being a part of this. I am going to contact laura.
Hi Morgan,
I don't know if you're up on Western's campus or not, but I also have coordinate some southside (Happy Valley and Larrabee Elementary) school classes that come up to the Outback Garden and do hands-on learning with gardening and sustainability in the spring. If teaching then would be something of interest to you, let me know! I'm glad to hear you're interested in being a part of this amazing swell of activity in our community.
Deanna, I'm also interested in helping with the Outback Garden hands-on-learning classes with the youth in the spring.
It would be helpful if you let us know the dates & times or a link to where they are listed at.
Is there a volunteer application process for working with the kids in the garden?
Will there be additional funding for hiring more 'Garden Corps Educators' in the future for other school gardens?
Let us know when you know.
So glad you spoke at the "Walking our Walk' event,...wish we could have had time to connect before you left.
I'm excited for hearing which school will have the vision to create a community greenhouse for learning & health that can be used year round in all weather.
Roosevelt School Garden Update (After the Amazing Workparty!!!)

A little over a week ago, with the sun shining down, parents, students, teachers and community members converged to work on the Roosevelt School Garden. Eighteen wooden posts were sunk in the ground to form the support for a future fence and a HUGE area was sheet mulched which involved the layering of manure, sorting and layering of cardboard, lots and lots of compost spreading.

There were 3 transition members (David W, David P and Tristan B.....4 I guess since I was there) in attendance and approximately 8 different Roosevelt families (about 24 people), 2 Americorps volunteers, 3 current teachers, and one retired Roosevelt teacher! The workparty was scheduled for 3 hours, but some people stayed for 5 which was great as we had 22 YARDS of compost to move! The amount of enthusiasm and motivation was amazing! A big thanks to all the Transition folks as they definitely got a big workout shoveling umpteen loads of compost!

If you missed this workparty, don't despair.....there is another workparty at Squalicum High School (back behind the softball fence) this Saturday, December 5th from 10-1. Hope to see you there!
Great name for the group, Heather! I get a visual of children growing out of the ground with green leaves all around them...delightful.

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