Will Workman is a writer, illustrator and teacher. He writes about gardening, travel, art, motorcycling and the outdoors. He lives in Williston, VT.
The Agrarian Adventure greenhouse at Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor, MI, provides experiential education in sustainable food, agriculture and health.
IT'S no secret that the future will hold many environmental challenges, from pollution and climate change to invasive plant and animal species. How can we prepare ourselves and our children to overcome these challenges?
Agrarian Adventure students grow salad greens for middle school cafeterias across the district.
One organization, the Green Education Foundation, is doing just that. The GEF develops and distributes classroom curriculum that teaches sustainability and environmental science to children K-12. Formed in 2008, this effective nonprofit organization has quickly become a leader in environmental education.
The GEF not only has dozens of classroom curriculums, but they also have courses to train teachers in the new science of sustainability. They also create fun events, such as Green Thumb Week, which got 770,000 kids gardening, and the Waste-Free Snack Challenge for Earth Day. They even have a new course in green building. During National Green Week 2011, the foundation mobilized more than five million children to participate in school-based sustainability programs that cut energy usage and promote recycling.
GEF isn't about politics; it's about teaching kids the skills they'll need to address the environmental conditions they'll face as adults. And it's about success in life: Just as free enterprise thrived during the Industrial Revolution and the Computer Revolution, a new generation of entrepreneurs will make their living in the Green Revolution. The GEF is giving them a great start.
There's no single answer to the challenge of building an environmentally sustainable future, but the work of the GEF is a good beginning. Gardener's Supply is proud to support the GEF and we hope you will too. You can learn more at greeneducationfoundation.org
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