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Teaching the Next Generation: The Garden as Your Classroom

Learn how to use the garden as your classroom in April.

In partnership with Field to Family and Backyard Abundance, Iowa City Parks and Recreation will host a school garden workshop, “Teaching the Next Generation: The Garden as Your Classroom” on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Outdoor Classroom, 220 S. Gilbert St. This class is open to teachers, school district staff, early care and education providers, garden volunteers and all who are interested in using gardening as an education tool in Johnson and neighboring counties. 

Presenters at this free workshop will share school district and community resources that support learning about the outdoor environment, showcase versatile designs for outdoor classrooms, demonstrate activities that support new science standards, and offer hands-on lessons in the garden for PreK-12 students.

Presenters include:

  • Kelly Hanson, Farm to Early Care Education Program Specialist with the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children, will share pre-K garden learning activities.
  • Jen Kardos, Co-Director Backyard Abundance, along with Jenni Mettemeyer, Shimek school garden leader, will demonstrate ways to use elementary science curriculum (FOSS) in the garden.
  • Michelle Kenyon, Field to Family Program Director and ICCSD Farm to School Coordinator, will cover general resources available to school gardeners and those creating and maintaining outdoor classroom space.
  • Elizabeth Maas, Restoration Ecologist, Kirkwood Community College, will demonstrate an activity following the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Breanna Shea, Outreach Coordinator and Tony Loeser, Water Resources Engineer from Iowa Flood Center will demonstrate a new community resource to teach about water quality.

“This event features a hands-on component that demonstrates how to teach current district science curriculum in the garden,” explains Jen Kardos, Co-Director of Backyard Abundance. “Being thoughtful in the design of our school gardens means they can be used as outdoor classrooms effectively without adding to a teacher’s workload.”

In addition to the activities listed, the Iowa Flood Center will demonstrate a new, interactive erosion table, highlighting how it can be used in teaching outdoor ecology.

Iowa City Parks and Recreation received a DNR REAP Conservation Education Program grant to partner with the Iowa Flood Center on new water quality educational classes, which will compliment the City's growing line of ecology programs.

To register for the garden workshop, visit the Iowa City Parks and Recreation registration website: 

via www.corridorsearch.com

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