PLANTING GARDENS. CULTIVATING LEADERS. SUSTAINING COMMUNITIES.
In fall 2012 GSE will teach our ‘Ecological Action Education Program’ to more than 160 students at 6 Sonoma County and Marin high schools. GSE’s youth leadership program engages students in critical thinking about local and international issues. GSE’s emphasis on environmental and agricultural education has evolved in response to student feedback and observations about issues they feel compelled to address in their community. School gardens and nature preserves serve as ‘outdoor classrooms’ where students are able to positively contribute through collaboration, planning, advocacy, and practice. Students build life skills that help them turn their ideas for change into action.
LOCAL PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:
Our Impact is Multifaceted:
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE, HUNGER AND HEALTH.
GSE students have led the design and building of 4 organic gardens in school or community spaces. Students practice sustainable farming techniques and model how we can collaboratively produce food that benefits the larger school communities. Harvests provide food for local food banks for terminally ill and underserved populations.
GSE participants contribute to local restoration efforts at Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and Sonoma County Land Trust preservation sites. Students engage in a full spectrum of hands-on restoration work planting native trees, installing and removing restoration hardware, monitoring rare and endangered plant species, and learning about the function and importance of the habitat.
100 Northern California students traveled to Ecuador and Nicaragua in the spring of 2012 to collaborate on similar eco-action projects. Students partnered with their local peers to plant over 1,500 trees in Ecuador and to build a 1.5 acre farm, as well as two smaller school gardens in Nicaragua.
Every February GSE hosts a group of ‘ambassadors’ from our partner communities to collaborate with the Californian peers on ongoing local projects. Find out more…