School Garden & Urban Agriculture Conference, New York

Growing together with The Three Sisters (and a Brother) School Garden & Urban Agriculture Conference, Rochester, New York: July 25, 26, 27, 2011

Featuring: Lynne Cherry - Author, Illustrator, Filmmaker & Environmental Lecturer; Marcia Eames-Sheavly - Cornell Garden-Based Learning Program; Jan McDonald - Executive Director, Rochester Roots; and Walter Nelson -Cornell Cooperative Extension Rochester Roots is proud to present “three sisters”: three women (and a brother) who over three days will lead workshops that enable participants to empower youth as change agents for their communities. Lynne Cherry, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, Jan McDonald’s work in garden-based education, urban agriculture, art, and environmental activism are creating healthy change for the future. "Brother" Walter Nelson will lead participants in healthy urban soil assessment and development. This event is open to all K-12 teachers, school administrators, environmental educators, community leaders, artists, parents, young adult leaders, students and anyone who wants to empower youth or themselves while learning in a hands-on setting at the Clara Barton School Half Acre Urban Farm. DOWNLOAD FULL ANNOUNCEMENT & REGISTRATION AT WWW.ROCHESTERROOTS.ORG NEWS PAGE.


Monday, July 25 / 7pm

Day 1: Presentation, movie & Discussion with LYNNE CHERRY

Downtown Presbyterian Church, 121 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester, NY 14614 (Free parking available at City Hall)

$10 Adult, $7 Student & Seniors  (Tickets will also be available at the door)


Lynne Cherry

Lynne’s inspiring presentation will highlight how she combines her work in environmental activism, art, and filmmaking to produce such inspirational children’s books as The Great Kapok Tree, How Groundhog’s Garden Grew and A River Ran Wild and most recently her debut as a filmmaker creating the Young Voices on Climate Change short movies. Lynne will talk about how her books were inspired by her love of the natural world and how using nature to integrate curriculum and environmental activism makes a child’s learning relevant. Through her work Lynne connects us to the natural world so we can observe and understand the ecological connections between living things and the impact of our lives on the rest of the ecosystem. Lynne will offer book signing after the presentation.


Tuesday, July 26 / 9AM-4PM

Day 2: Lynne Cherry & Jan Mcdonald

Location: Clara Barton School Urban Farm, 190 Reynolds St., Rochester, NY 14608

$80 Adult; $60 Students, Seniors, and Rochester City School District Teachers

(Low-income rates available – no one turned away due to lack of funds. Inquire at

Fee covers both Day 2 & Day 3 and includes lunch catered by Savory Thyme featuring ingredients from the Clara Barton Urban Farm. Professional development credit can be arranged through individual school districts.


Lynne Cherry

Engaging Students in Environmentally Related Projects

Lynne will lead a workshop for educators and anyone who would like to engage students in environmentally related projects. Through a train-the-trainer approach attendees will leave with skills to effectively empower youth with practical tools that connect them to the natural world and experiencing the impact that their lives can have on the rest of the ecosystem. Lynne will suggest ways that her books may be used to integrate math, science, and social studies into curricula through environmental themes. Her presentation gives the audience ideas about teaching and learning in exciting new ways, and leaves them empowered–with knowledge and inspiration for the future.


Jan McDonald

Hands-on Agriculture-based Learning

Jan will interweave and enrich Lynne’s presentation with hands-on garden-based activities that integrate the core subject areas of math, science, English language arts, social studies, and art. For example, she’ll use Lynne’s book How Groundhog’s Garden Grew to educate participants on the use of companion planting to attract beneficial insects while teaching math (garden layout and plant spacing, seed saving and exponential expansion), social studies (heirloom vegetables), science, art and ELA (composting, package design, story and procedural writing).  Jan’s practical approach will leave you ready to design and build your own school, community, or family garden.


Wednesday, July 27 / 9am-4pm

Day 3: Marcia Eames-Sheavly & WaltER Nelson

Location: Clara Barton School Urban Farm, 190 Reynolds St., Rochester, NY 14608


Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Planning and Fundraising for a School Garden Project

Participants will review the benefits of garden-based learning, identify research that supports their work, create a program logic model and curriculum mapping template, develop a strategy for fundraising, and leave having created a program plan and ready to move forward. Marcia will provide you with the tools to maximize learning for students, to bring the curriculum to life.

Walter Nelson, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Horticulture Program Leader

Healthy Soil, Healthy Science, Healthy Students

Cornell Cooperative Extension staff will provide participants with a hands-on understanding of soil investigation with experiences in soil texture, soil pH, and permeability testing.  You will see (and be able to replicate) the impact of soil texture on plant growth.  Participants will learn fundamental interpretation of laboratory soil nutrient and possible soil contaminates test results.  We will explore math calculation opportunities relating to use of healthy soil amendments.  Attendees will see and use examples of ‘kitchen chemistry’ and school laboratory materials, equipment and additional resources available to youthful soil scientists and their instructors.

For more information contact Jan McDonald 585-232-1463 or

Rochester Roots, Inc., 121 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester, NY 14614,

1 Comment on School Garden & Urban Agriculture Conference, New York

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