School Garden Symposium coming to Treehaven
Professional gardeners and garden educators from across Wisconsin will offer hands-on instruction on how to start and sustain a school garden at the School Garden Symposium Aug. 19 and 20. The Symposium will be held at Treehaven, a natural resources education, conference and research center located between Tomahawk and Rhinelander.
Professionals from a variety of education-and community-related organizations will present a variety of topics, which include kid-friendly gardening activities, seed saving methods, ideas for extending the growing season and how to work with school cafeterias to set up composting and food tasting programs.
Participants will also be given time to network with others and will leave with a copy of “Got Dirt?” and “Got Veggies?” curriculum and resource guides.
The idea to bring a school garden symposium to Treehaven was spurred after Donelle Scaffidi, a Conserve School graduate fellow and Treehaven garden coordinator, who learned of school garden workshops that were being hosted around the state by the Wisconsin School Garden Initiative, which aims to establish a state-wide network of support for school gardens.
Through her research, Scaffidi said there are numerous benefits for schools to have gardens.
“Research has shown that student involvement in gardening increases fruit and vegetable consumption,” she said. “Through gardening, students develop important social skills and a connection to where their food comes from. School gardens can also be a great outdoor classroom for all subjects.”
One common factor among successful school garden programs is strong community support, Scaffidi said. For this reason, Scaffidi contacted numerous organizations from the region to take part in the School Garden Symposium, including the Wisconsin School Garden Initiative, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Many Ways of Peace, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources, Farm to School Network and Northland Pines School District.
“Gardens are a lot of work and teaching can be stressful,” Scaffidi said. “It is really important for teachers and staff involved with school gardens to have a chance to network and share ideas and inspiration.”
The full cost to attend the overnight Symposium is $111 per person (includes instruction, meals, snack, lodging and recreation). The full cost to attend the Symposium as a commuter is $65 per person (includes instruction, lunches, snack and recreation; Excludes lodging, breakfast and dinner). The first 20 people who register will receive $50 off their registration fee, thanks to funding provided by Green and Healthy Schools Wisconsin.
Treehaven is located at W2540 Pickerel Creek Road, Tomahawk, WI 54487.
For more information, call 715-453-4106.