Planting an Idea

Among other activities, the B.U.G. curriculum engages students in insect collection and identification as a way of cataloging the biodiversity of urban gardens.

Our former Education Director, Leo Pollock (now Director of Programs), has been busy lately getting the word out about the potential that exists for youth and adults to learn how to grow their own food and, in so doing, come to better understand their dependence on the planet and one another for sustenance. He recently presented a workshop at the Rhode Island Science Teachers Association’s spring conference, “Building the Future for the Next Generation of Science,” about the B.U.G. (Biodiversity in Urban Gardens) pedagogical model he developed in collaboration with the Rhode Island Natural History Survey, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College, and Johnson and Wales University. The project was funded by an Environmental Education grant from the EPA, and the resulting curriculum, which was piloted at the summer Children’s Garden at City Farm and through the Youth Garden Clubs at local school gardens, will soon be accessible to educators via the Urban Agriculture Resource Center section of our website.

Leo has also been advocating for urban gardening in other forums. Earlier this month, he had an article appear in The Jewish Voice & Herald. Entitled “The ‘Dirt’ on Food,” the editorial summarizes the ways that growing our own produce and supporting regional farmers not only is beneficial to the environment and the local economy, but also helps to strengthen community ties as people share the fruits of their labor. Here’s a direct link to the article. We hope his description of “the magic of watching a seed sprout and develop its first leaves” inspires you and serves to rededicate us all to the importance of this work here in Providence!

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