School, Farm, Community and Coalition Partnerships
– At the center of HCC’s Lyon County’s regional Healthy Food Hub for over 13 years
Lyon County’s regional Healthy Food Hub encompasses an array of services from volunteer and Community Health Worker powered food pantries, healthy cooking classes, “grow your own food” workshops, nutrition education, youth workforce development, farmers markets, community gardens and school gardens that feature hoop houses to extend the growing season while students are in school.
- 7 school gardens
- 1 food pantry garden
- Boys and Girls Club garden
- SNAP Ed school garden curriculum
- 1 community garden
- Community Health Workers/Community Garden Workers
What does a school garden provide?
- Cultivation of student curiosity and exploration
- Supports to student nutrition at school and at home and encourages every child’s ownership over their own health
- Cultivates children’s joy in learning by providing opportunities for hands-on learning in school curriculum subjects, inclusive of STEAM
- Exploration of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in the garden for students, families and teachers
- Opportunities for students to take on leadership roles as mentors and peers
- Practices in sustainable gardening techniques that restore natural resources and by teaching students that small steps can go a long way towards creating a healthier environment
- Physical activity and mental health and wellness
STEM Education, Food Waste Reduction and School Gardens
Fifth grade teacher Bob Gardner’s class had helped turn the Dayton Elementary School garden into a living learning laboratory that was highlighted in a 2012 USDA national blog and held up as a model project.
USDA featured the garden in a blog post
Raking in the Awards
By 2014, the awards for the school gardens were really starting to roll in. For example, the GREEN Team, responsible for the school garden, hoop house, compost and school-wide food waste reduction system at Silver Stage Elementary in Silver Springs, earned a Pioneer Award from the Northern Nevada Development Authority.
The GREEN Team, including 6th grade students and teacher Rachel Leach, were awarded the honor for “Best Green Practices” in a five-county region. Due to their innovative work, the GREEN Team continues to rake in cash awards in contests, invitations to speak at regional and statewide conferences on food issues, and they’re frequently featured in newspapers and publications such as Edible Reno Tahoe and Nevada Farm to School’s newsletter.
Some of the team’s many accomplishments are described in this 2014 article in This is Reno:
To learn more about school gardens, contact Linda Flaherty.