I just got out of a meeting with three dental hygiene students who will be working with the local Boys’ and Girls’ Club to build a community garden! It was a blast. They are very enthusiastic, have made excellent contacts with a local gardening group and within the B&G Club itself, and even have some funding already. And they might be getting additional class credit, too.
This whole thing started as a random lunchtime conversation with a colleague. I’m not sure how it came up – I was probably just yammering about my garden, as per usual, and it came up that I’d helped run a garden club for kids several years ago. So, lightwitch in faculty mind flipped on, and then as more info came across my desk (e.g., the “How to start a community garden” workshop series!) I could pass it along. All kinds of connections and synchronicities are popping up (guess how many faculty and staff from the dental school are involved in community gardening programs around town!). And I totally want to learn how Amanda Edwards runs her workshops, too; she’s got the community organizing part of the whole teach-people-to-garden thing down. I’m trying to keep my admiration for her work to a healthy crush, rather than being sad that I’m not doing as much good stuff as she is (yet!)
I feel really good about this – it’s another version of “training the trainers” that seems to be my theme this year. I’m not really doing the work on this project; more like saying, “Hey, here’s a ball…wanna roll it?” and there’s something to be said for that.