Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education

2013 Annual Report for YENC12-045

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2012: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Manager:
Andrea Wendt
Shiawassee Conservation District
Project Co-Managers:
Melissa Higbee
Shiawassee Conservation District

Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education

Summary

Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education Projgram

Project Title: Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education

Project Number: YENC12-045   Year of Report 2014

Youth Educator/Project Leader: Andrea Wendt/Melissa Higbee

Address (City, State Zip Code): Owosso, MI 48867

Phone: 989-723-8263, ext.  3 
E-mail: Melissa.higbee@mi.nacdnet.net

Website: www.shiawasseeccd.org

2014 Progress Report SARE grant

During the 2013 season, the Shiawassee Conservation District coordinated a Sustainable Agriculture-themed education program to Camp Shiawassee youth participants and assisted the Shiawassee YMCA in establishing raised garden beds at the YMCA Outdoor Center located on the Shiawassee River. Camp Shiawassee is the only state-licensed camp in Shiawassee County and is open to youth ages 5 through 12 with counselor-in-training opportunities for those ages 13-16.  A total of 262 campers participated in the 2014 at the Shiawassee Camper’s Sustainable Garden and Sustainable Agriculture Education program at the YMCA Camp Shiawassee.
Each week, the Shiawassee Conservation District met with the campers to deliver a lesson on Sustainable Agriculture including a presentation on a sustainable agriculture topic and group activity. Weekly lessons included:

  • Week 1 – planted gardens and created vegetable marking signs
  • Week 2 – types of pollinators and how they help produce food; designed pollinator using coffee filter
  • Week 3 – using your senses to observe the natural world and the crops we grow; scavenger hunt
  • Week 4 – pollinator habits, generalists versus specific pollinators; designed pollinator by painting a stone
  • Week 5 – Anthony Bee Farm presentation on the importance of bees as pollinators and how honey is produced
  • Week 6 – water conservation in agriculture and everyday uses; water distribution globe toss game, water use sponge game, water quality bracelets
  • Week 7 – sustainable agriculture in silviculture and forest production; played game to discover items that are produced from forestry products; created tree cookies
  • Week 8 – camouflage and mimicry in our natural world, the role of pollinators in sustainable agriculture; played “Birds and Worms” game and designed a camouflage pollinator
  • Week 9 – groundwater and influences from agriculture and everyday use; made veggie pizzas using crops from the Camper’s Gardens and aquifer sundaes 

In addition to these activities, the Conservation District visited the gardens and interacted with the campers on the progress of the project. The campers provided updates on the gardens and took ownership of the gardens being responsible for maintenance activities. Daily, they watered, weeded and harvested crops as needed. Camp counselors prepared harvested vegetables for group lunches. Crops raised included, broccoli, cucumber, green beans, green pepper, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, basil and chives. These crops were used in the end of season luncheon vegetable pizza and weekly by the campers during lunch and snack times.