OSU school garden conference is May 13

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COLUMBUS — “Planting seeds” will be the focus of an upcoming school garden conference at the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center.

It’s organizer, Susan Hogan, said school gardens are great growing tools — for food and for minds.

“Using the environment as a context for learning is an incredible tool,” said Hogan, program assistant for Ohio State University Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program. “Gardening at school sites addresses many of the science academic content standards and also increases social and interpersonal skills.”

Hogan, who has experience working in environmental education, joined OSU Extension in December. As spring approached, she began getting more inquiries from area schools for advice on starting a school garden.

Instead of just continuing to respond to inquiries as they came in, she decided to be proactive and put together a one-day conference, “Growing a School Garden 101,” which will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13, at Ohio State’s Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive.

The workshop is designed for school and after school program personnel, including administrators, principals, educators, food service personnel and custodians, as well as community partners, church personnel and interested parents.

The benefits

Other benefits of school gardens include incorporating physical activity into the school day; increasing awareness of the environment and environmental issues; and encourages children to eat fresh produce.

“You’re more likely to eat it if you’ve helped grow it,” Hogan said.

Registration includes lunch and is $35, due by April 26. The workshop is limited to 50 participants. To register, send a check payable to OSU Extension to OSU Extension, Franklin County, 2105 S. Hamilton Road, Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43232-4145, or contact Hogan at hogan.239@osu.edu for a registration form or more information.

If you have questions, call Hogan at 614-866-6900, ext. 214.

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