PLANTING GARDENS. CULTIVATING LEADERS. SUSTAINING COMMUNITIES.
GSE’s Ecological Action Education Program reaches more than 2,000 students annually across Sonoma, Marin and Contra Costa Counties. GSE’s youth leadership program engages students in critical thinking about local and international environmental 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.
1. Global Leadership Education: Our curriculum teaches critical thinking while challenging young people to exercise their ability to address social and environmental challenges in their local and global community.
2. Project-Based Learning: We lead lessons and discussions at nature preserves and school gardens to develop ecological literacy and teach skills that give students the experience and confidence to excel in related fields of study and work.
3. Cross-Cultural Collaboration: During our annual reciprocal exchanges, our students from Northern California and Latin America enact lasting eco-action projects together.
LOCAL PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS:
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE, HUNGER AND HEALTH.
GSE students have led the design and building of 9 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.