A garden for every child every child in a garden
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"A garden for every child, every child in a garden." . 6.5 million American children live in a food desert (USDA). Urban Gardens for Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness. About the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF). Pittsburgh, PA, est. 1999

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A garden for every child every child in a garden

"A garden for every child, every child in a garden."


A garden for every child every child in a garden

6.5 million American children live in a food desert (USDA)


A garden for every child every child in a garden

Urban Gardens for Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness


About the homeless children s education fund hcef

About the Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF)

  • Pittsburgh, PA, est. 1999

  • Mission: To advance the education of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Allegheny County by: • Providing educational programs and services • Serving as a trusted advocate • Sharing expertise • Facilitating collaborative relationships that maximize the collective impact among community partners [Homeless Education Network (HEN)]

  • 27 partnering homeless housing providers who serve families with children


Hcef services

HCEF Services

Afterschool and summer programs

Enrichment workshops

Backpacks and school supplies

Educational projects and field trips

Scholarships

Professional development for homeless housing provider staff

Homeless Education Network (HEN)


Youth homelessness in allegheny county pennsylvania

Youth Homelessness in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

  • Over 1,700 school-aged children experiencing homelessness

    • Under-identified groups include: 0-5, recent graduates, dropouts, unaccompanied youth, and any child whose family has not identified themselves to the school staff


Issues to address

Issues to Address

Children experiencing homelessness versus stably housed peers…

  • Health

    • 4 times as likely to get sick

  • Nutrition

    • 2 times more likely to go hungry

    • Have high rates of obesity due to nutritional deficiencies

  • Mental Health

    • 4 times as likely to have delayed development

    • 3 times as likely to have emotional or behavioral problems

  • Family Bonding


Project goals

Project Goals

Equip participants with practical gardening skills (Nutrition)

Encourage family activities (Mental Health, Family Bonding)

Increase interest in healthy eating and meal preparation (Health, Nutrition)

Encourage physical activity outdoors (Health, Mental Health)

Decrease stress and anxiety (Mental Health)

Enrichment, Education, Fun


Urban gardening benchmarks

Urban Gardening Benchmarks

Project Homeless Connect (San Francisco): Created a community garden for both homeless and housed San Franciscans

Green Millennium Children’s Garden (Pittsburgh): Transformed a vacant lot into a fruit, vegetable, and flower garden for children in foster care

Homeless Garden Project (Santa Cruz): Three-acre farm at homeless provider agency

Edible Schoolyard (Berkeley): "Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard" Video


Partners

Partners

Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater PittsburghTo end intimate partner violence in the lives of women and their children

Healthy Start House Transitional LivingTo provide a safe environment and supportive services to homeless women and their infants and children to help them prepare for independent living


Partners1

Partners

Grow PittsburghTo demonstrate, teach and promote responsible urban food production“Grow Pittsburgh Organization” VideoPlant to Plate, University of PittsburghTeach students how to grow their own food, take them into the kitchen to learn how to cook it, and then let them give back to the community by teaching others


Project implementation

Project Implementation

January: Focus group with interested homeless providers

March: Evaluation of potential garden sites

March: Gardening training for homeless provider staff at pilot agencies

May: Volunteers help prep raised beds

April-August: On-site workshops

August: Field trip to conservatory and botanical gardens

August: Staff/parent/student surveys


April newspaper pot making and seed starting

April: Newspaper Pot Making and Seed Starting


Supplies and budget

Supplies and Budget

$300

Raised beds were built using previous “Mini-Grant” funding from HCEF

Grow Light

Pot Makers

Seeds

Potting Mix

Watering Can

Seedling Tray

Workshop Fee


May transplanting

May: Transplanting


Supplies and budget several visits

Supplies and Budget(Several Visits)

$470

Seeds

Compost

Top Soil

Potting Mix

Wooden Plant Labels

Lumber

Bracket

Workshop Fee


June composting

June: Composting


Supplies and budget1

Supplies and Budget

$200

$155

Mulch

Gravel

Garden Fork

Compost

Garden Claw

Sign Wood

Workshop Fee

Compost bins


July august harvest celebration

July/August: Harvest Celebration


Supplies and budget2

Supplies and Budget

$280

Fall Crops

Cover Crops

Garden Art Supplies

Raspberries

Pizza Ingredients

Workshop Fee


Additional activities

Additional Activities

  • Additional Grow Pittsburgh visits

    • More soil and transplanting

    • Trellising and planting carrots

    • Planting raspberries in edible landscape

    • Fall planting plan

    • Pest management

  • Plant to Plate

    • Bugs

    • Fruit vs. Vegetable

    • Water

  • Unexpected Outcomes

    • Field trip to urban farm during summer camp program

    • New projects with edible landscapes and therapeutic gardening


Project evaluation

Project Evaluation

An estimated 50 children and 30 moms participated in the program

Homeless provider staff, moms, and children were surveyed after the last gardening workshop


Recap issues and goals

Recap: Issues and Goals

Project Goals:

Equip participants with practical gardening skills (Nutrition)

Encourage family bonding (Mental Health, Family Bonding)

Increase interest in healthy eating and meal preparation (Health, Nutrition)

Encourage physical activity outdoors (Health, Mental Health)

Decrease stress and anxiety (Mental Health)

Enrichment, Education, Fun

Issues to Address:

Children experiencing homelessness versus stably housed peers…

  • Health

    • 4 times as likely to get sick

  • Nutrition

    • 2 times more likely to go hungry

  • Mental Health

    • 4 times as likely to have delayed development

    • 3 times as likely to have anxiety or depression

  • Family Bonding


Outcomes mental health

Outcomes: Mental Health

Goal: Encourage family bonding

Goal: Decrease stress and anxiety


Outcomes mental health and health

Outcomes: Mental Health and Health

Goal: Encourage physical activity outdoors


Outcomes nutrition and health

Outcomes: Nutrition and Health

Goal: Increase interest in healthy eating and meal preparation


Outcomes nutrition and health1

Outcomes: Nutrition and Health

Goal: Increase interest in healthy eating and meal preparation (cont.)


Outcomes nutrition and health2

Outcomes: Nutrition and Health

Goal: Equip participants with practical gardening skills


Outcomes highlights

Outcomes: Highlights

“I found it a great experience. I see how the children enjoy learning about planting and see them enjoy the fruits of labor by eating and enjoying what they planted and cared for.” – Staff

“I like gardening with my son. It’s a bonding experience.” – Parent

“It reminds me of my mom.” – Parent

“I like to eat what we have grown.” – Child

“I love the smell of basil.” -Child


Outcomes challenges

Outcomes: Challenges

“Getting them to water!” - Staff

“Keeping the garden protected from destruction when the parents are not supervising children.” – Staff

“Worms; dirt.” - Parent

“Waiting for it to grow to eat it, lol.” – Parent

“When plants get hurt.” - Child


Lessons learned next steps

Lessons Learned / Next Steps

  • Project Challenges

    • Scope of project vs. capacity

    • Outdoor space limitations

    • Predicting costs

    • University internship schedules

    • High turnover of participants

    • Sometimes low number of participants

  • Plans for 2014

    • Same workshop format at different homeless housing provider organizations

    • Check-ins and assistance for 2013 gardens

    • Project intern


  • Can i replicate this project at my organization

    Can I replicate this project at my organization?

    • Questions to Consider

      • What are my top priorities and desired outcomes? (e.g. food production, skill building, nutrition, family bonding)

      • Who will be the participants? (e.g. parents, children, shelter staff)

      • Will participants be coming and going or does the facility provide long-term housing?

      • Who will my partners be? (e.g. shelters, non-profit organizations, community gardening groups, university students)

      • Is there space available for a garden or container garden? Is there a nearby community garden to link up with?

      • Are shelter staff committed to caring for the garden and keeping the project going?


    Questions

    Questions?

    Carrie Pavlik, Education Services Manager, [email protected], 412-562-0154 x200Bill Wolfe, Executive Director, [email protected], 412-562-0154 x203


    A garden for every child every child in a garden

    References and More Information

    United States School Gardenshttp://libguides.lib.msu.edu/content.php?pid=46894&sid=345414

    USDA Food Desert Studyhttp://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/FAQ.aspx

    Physical and Mental Effects of Homelessnesshttp://www.familyhomelessness.org/children.php?p=ts

    Project Homeless Connectwww.projecthomelessconnect.com/

    Green Millennium Children’s Garden http://old.post-gazette.com/garden/20020706backyard3.asp

    Homeless Garden Projecthttp://www.homelessgardenproject.org/

    "Alice Waters and the Edible Schoolyard" Videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVrnqZsghHk

    “Grow Pittsburgh Organization” Videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to3sptah2Bo


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