Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category
The Camden Children’s Garden Thanks CSC of Rosemont College in Bryn Mawr, PA!
Rooted in the mission of Rosemont College, the Cornelian Service Corps (CSC), a part of the Office of Campus Ministry, offers opportunities and provides resources for members of the college community to engage in meaningful service. The Rosemont CSC wanted to kick off their semester with a service day at a local garden to get their students moving outside and thinking about nature and sustainability, a Rosemont’s theme for the Fall semester.
Fortunately, Meaghan Daly, Service Coordinator at Rosemont College, was informed about the mission of Camden Children’s Garden to help feed and green Camden, NJ, through community gardening and nutrition education. Ms. Daly worked with the Garden to schedule a group of students to volunteer.
On September 16, 2012, approximately twelve student volunteers from Rosemont College. Half of the group stayed at the Camden Children’s Garden to spruce up exhibits at the CCG. The other half of the group assisted in planting and maintaining at the thriving Beckett Street Urban Farm in Camden, NJ. The students renewed existing plant beds, planted 500 Fall/Winter vegetable crops, harvested eight 5-gallon buckets of vegetables (varieties of peppers, potatoes and other produce), which was then taken back to the CCG mini-Farmstand and will be sold at wholesale prices to Camden residents and visitors.
The students were all from very diverse backgrounds with several interests and were very excited to serve the community gardens program in helping to feed Camden, NJ, the nation’s poorest city.
The students and staff even went a bit further, collecting donations at their school’s Fall Festival/Family Weekend for the Camden Children’s Garden!
We truly appreciate the help and support from our new partners the Rosemont College CSC!
Join us, as you and your youngster plant the seeds for a life-long connection with nature! On Wednesday mornings in October, join us for” TREEmendous Trees” Parent-Child Workshops!
Wednesdays from 10:00AM-11:30AM!
To register or for more information contact: Education@camdenchildrensgarden.org or call 856-365-9741
Non members: $12/week or $45/month
Members: $10/week or $40/month
FALL FAMILY FUN AT THE CAMDEN CHILDREN’S GARDEN!
1st up…. September 22 & 23 is the Faeries and Wizards Family Festival!
DOWNLOAD: Fall Family Fun @ the Camden Children’s Garden!
AUGUST 20TH – Whole Foods Market Demonstrations, Food Security Board, Garden Club Meetings & Major Grant Announcement!
Monday, August 20th ~ See Details on Invite and Times for Specific Activities Below…
- 4:00pm–5:30pm ~ Camden City Food Security Advisory Board Meeting
- 5:30pm ~ USDA Grant Announcement/Refreshments
- 5:45pm ~ Whole Foods Market Tasting / Education and Camden City Garden Club (CCGC) Meeting
USDA Grants Camden City Garden Club – Funding for Community Gardens and Entrepreneurial Urban Agriculture!
Have you heard about the community gardens in Camden, NJ?
Isn’t it time you see them for yourself & meet a some gardeners?
LET’S SHOW THE GOOD GROWING IN CAMDEN, NJ
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 ~ 9 am through 12:30,
Lunch served at 12:30 at the Camden Children’s Garden.
Delicious garden snacks served through out the bus tour.
Tour Starts at the Camden Children’s Garden, meet 8:30 am.
Park in the Waterfront Garage ($). Fee for reserving spot on bus and for Garden Lunch will be between $5-$10 – TBD depending on costs.
Call 856.365.8733 or email email@example.com, to reserve your space.
FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA’s BOOK Features Camden City Garden Club…and Milestones in Camden, NJ Food Movement! http://goo.gl/kaTVh
U.S. Department of Education Grants to Expand Camden’s School/Community Gardens and Nutrition Education!
Camden City Garden Club to Implement Camden’s part of U.S. Department of Education Grants Millions Nationwide to Give More Children Access to Physical Education and Instruction on Healthy Eating.
DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE – U.S. Department of Education Gives Healthy Grant to Camden (and/or see below release text and links)
(Camden, N.J. / Washington, D.C – June 12, 2012), The Carol M. White Physical Education Program awarded 77 grants nationally, totaling more than $26.5 million to U.S. public schools and community-based organizations to initiate, expand and improve physical education programs for students in grades K-12. The Camden City Board of Education was the only school board in New Jersey named as the recipient of the White Physical Education grant awarded in 2011. This effort was led by Camden City Councilwoman Deborah Person-Polk, who also serves as Director of Development for the Camden City Board of Education. Two years ago, when the grant application was submitted, this initiative was unanimously supported by the Camden City Garden Club (CCGC) and the Camden City Food Security Advisory Board. Due to the CCGC’s 28 years of experience in community gardening and continued progress in nutrition education in Camden, this organization was chosen to help carry out this sustainable education initiative.The Camden City Board of Education awarded the CCGC/CCG as a contractor, partnering to assist the Camden School District over a 3-year period to initiate the development of 4 Fruit and Vegetable Learning Gardens at 4 specified Camden City Schools, including Cooper Poynt School in North Camden; Bonsall School in Camden’s Whitman Park neighborhood; Riletta Cream School in Camden’s Centerville Community; and Morgan Village Academy/Creative Arts High School in Camden’s Morgan Village neighborhood.A NATION IN SUPPORT OF A FOOD MOVEMENT
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated “As a result of these grants, schools will have additional resources to help students become healthier and more active”. There is a growing number of organizations becoming more and more interested in the food movement to fight obesity and hunger in Camden and nationally. Camden’s Community Gardening Program would not be possible without being subsidized by grant donors. In addition to the national government, many private donors and corporations are joining in the movement. Despite the 100% Budget Cut by New Jersey’s Christie Administration, the CCGC and its programs have survived and thrived. Funding and national advancement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, William Penn Foundation and Campbell Soup Company Healthy Camden Initiative: Reducing Hunger and Childhood Obesity, has been instrumental in furthering CCGC’s Programs. In addition, our work is also funded by the generous donors such as, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Hamilton Family Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Subaru Foundation and many more private supporters.
In addition, many other high-profile leaders have taken up the cause, such as celebrities, chefs, government officials, and even the First Lady of the United States. CCGC President Mike Devlin enthusiastically stated, “We are excited that the U.S. Government is behind our continued growth in educating and helping Camden families to grow their own food and live healthy lifestyles. It is perfect timing with the release of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Book, “American Grown”, which includes the City of Camden’s progress, where in this food desert, more than 12% of Camden residents are eating from community gardens”. In addition the book highlights the University of Pennsylvania Study, finding that “Camden, NJ, has perhaps the Fastest Growing Community Gardening Program in the Nation”.
Through this 3-year partnership, the Camden City Garden Club (CCGC) will expand its already-thriving Community Gardens Program (in its 28th year) and advance the Learning Garden Projects already underway in several Camden elementary schools. The Camden School Board will also utilize CCGC’s GrowLab Program (in its 23rd Year), continuing to provide hands-on nutrition and horticultural education through classroom mini-greenhouses. In addition, this partnership will support the implementation of the following to better serve these school communities in growing food and education.
Being Green and Healthy Comes Full Circle in Camden, NJ – Starting at a Young Age!
Although this is a new partnership, it will be enhancing Camden’s growing tradition of GrowLab and Community Gardening inCamden, NJ. Hundreds of Camden school children participate annually in the CCGC’s GrowLab Program, where children learn by growing vegetables in classroom greenhouses! Many of these children have community gardens in their home neighborhoods, so they often teach their families and neighbors what they have studied at school! Each year, the GrowLab Class enjoysA SALAD PARTY, which is held at the end of the GrowLab Program and is used as a celebration for children to enjoy the food that they grew themselves. 70% of CCGC’s staff being Camden residents, and this includes the Camden teens participating in the CCGC’s Youth Job Training and Employment Program. All of these Hands-on & Mouth-on Educational Programs have proved to be very helpful in strengthening families’ nutrition, and increase young children’s interest in nature, nutrition and overall health, in an effort to prevent childhood and adult obesity!
LEARN MORE ABOUT…
- Carol M. White Physical Education Program
- CAMDEN KIDS GROW HEALTHY FOOD – Dec 2011 Blog Article
- HOW TO GROW YOUR OWN FOOD and HEALTHY Little Hands-on Activities and Recipes
- GROWLAB PROGRAM IN CAMDEN SCHOOLS
- EDUCATION at the Camden Children’s Garden
- FACES OF FAMILIES OF CAMDEN COMMUNITY GARDENS
- PHOTO BANK OF ALL GARDEN PROGRAMS
PRESS RELEASE -First Lady Michelle Obama’s Book Features Camden Gardens (DOWNLOAD PDF) (and/or see below release text and links)
ABC NEWS REPORTS FROM CAMDEN COMMUNITY GARDENS! – Watch Action News 6 reporting with Camden City Garden Club, featured in First Lady Obama’s Book!
(Camden, N.J. / Washington, D.C – June 13, 2012) We are honored to announce First Lady Michelle Obama’s book, American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, features the Camden Children’s Garden (CCG), Camden City Garden Club, Inc (CCGC) and Camden’s Community Garden’s Program. The book was released May 2012, and highlights the White House Garden and approximately a dozen gardens throughout the nation. On two powerful pages (photo left), readers learn about the CCG, the CCGC, 28 years of Community Gardening and Nutrition Education in the City of Camden, NJ. The book tells the story of Camden – a city rebuilding itself from “Poorest, Most Dangerous US City of Its Size and Top 9 US Food Deserts”.
Through Mrs. Obama’s passion for gardening, American Grown tells the stories from across the country of community gardens bringing greater hope and health into urban neighborhoods. Mrs. Obama’s book highlights gardening project models, such as the CCGC’s Community Gardening Program, that are demonstrating the positive change that growing food can make. Many of the programs covered exemplify longstanding, successful models that could be duplicated in other communities. The book emphasizes Camden’s community gardens as source of, not only beautifying in some of Camden’s 12,000 abandoned lots, but these food-producing plots have enabled community members to galvanize in nourishing themselves. In Camden, gardening is a viable source of healthy food at low costs through CCGC’s guided Community Gardening Program to help residents to clean city’s vacant lots, to create community gardens and maintain sustainable food systems.
The First Lady’s book helps to profile some of CCGC/CCG’s most prominent recent milestones, such as Camden’s incredible growth in food production, as analyzed in a University of Pennsylvania Study. This study found that “Camden, NJ, has perhaps the Fastest Growing Community Gardening Program in the Nation”. Since the study was completed in 2009, Camden has tripled their number of community gardens. The UPENN’s Study Harvest Report stated, “Camden consistently ranks among the poorest and most violent cities in the United States, a stark example of urban decline, social and political economic crisis, and consequently food insecurity. Both because of this and despite this, Camden is also a leading center of community gardening in the United States.” For 28 years, the CCGC’s Community Gardening Program has been growing exponentially in number of community gardens and food production.
EXPONENTIAL GROWTH OF GARDENS AND FOOD SECURITY!
In 2008, when the economic downturn hit Camden very hard, the CCGC answered Camden’s call for healthy, inexpensive food. Since the CCGC has had a continuous waiting list of 25 + organizations rrequesting community gardens.
Having the White House pushing gardening and anti-obesity initiative nationally has been very helpful to increase awareness and enthusiasm for gardening and nutrition. In fact, in the last three years alone, the number of community gardens in Camden has grown exponentially – Camden has annually added 25-30 new community gardens throughout the city. Today, Camden has an ever-growing total of 120 community gardens. In addition, the CCGC has almost 100 Club members with kitchen/backyard gardens, where individuals and families can benefit from CCGC membership’s seasonal supply of starter plants, compost, tools and green advice for gardeners. 100% of gardeners sampled in the Penn Study said that they grow a surplus of food, in addition to feeding their families. According to this information and Penn’s updated research, it is evident that more than 12% of Camden residents are being fed (as of release date) by the CCGC’s Community Gardens Program.DOWNLOAD Michelle Obama’s Book Pages with Camden Children’s Garden inclusion (American Grown - pages 134-135)
WHY CAMDEN?….AT-RISK FAMILIES
- Camden, NJ is a Low-Income Urban Environment - Readers of American Grown, will catch a glimpse of the powerthat community gardening has to bring impoverished urban families and communities together in healthy sustainability. In a city where most live 200% below the poverty line, families are growing their own food to fight hunger and obesity.
- According to the USDA, Camden, NJ = TOP 9 US FOOD DESERTS and for 80,000 residents, Camden only has 1 full-service grocery store located on the outskirts of the city.
- Camden, NJ Obesity Rates and Health Risks are Among Top in US, according tothe NJ Partnership for Healthy Kids Study. Like in many impoverished urban areas, Camden children are more likely to be obese. The Camden, NJ study based on the household survey, school body mass index (BMI) data, and food and physical activity environment data. The majority of Camden children do not meet recommendations for vegetable consumption and do not meet the guidelines for being physically active. Parents shopping Camden, report limited availability of fresh produce and low-fat items. Almost half of the families do not shop in their neighborhood due to cost, quality and lack of neighborhood stores. READ MORE on Garden Blog – Camden’s Childhood Obesity and Health Risks in US Top.
A NATION IN SUPPORT OF A FOOD MOVEMENT
There is a growing number of organizations becoming more and more interested in this movement in Camden and nationally. Camden’s Community Gardening Program would not be possible without support of grant donors. In addition to the nation government, many private donors and corporations are joining in the movement. Despite the 100% Budget Cut by New Jersey’s Christie Administration, the CCGC and its programs have survived and thrived. Funding and national advancement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, William Penn Foundation and Campbell Soup Foundation has been instrumental in furthering CCGC’s Programs. In addition, our work is also funded by the generous donors such as, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Hamilton Family Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Subaru Foundation and many more private supporters. In addition, many other high-profile leaders have taken up the cause, such as celebrities, chefs, government officials, and of course the First Lady of the United States.
Through American Grown and her programs, First Lady Michelle Obama hopes to address food security and obesity problems by restructuring food systems – especially in underserved communities. Some national support is making its way to cities like Camden through the U.S. Department of Education.
Nation’s Gardening Projects and Models Profiled in American Grown
In addition to the CCGC / CCG, Mrs. Obama’s book highlights about a dozen other gardens throughout the nation. Projects included are City Gardens in Houston, TX; The Readington Community Garden in Readington Township, NJ; P-Patch in Seattle, WA, Rainbow Beach Park in Chicago, IL; Gardens of Service in Winston-Salem, NC; Will Allen’s Growing Power project in Chicago, IL; MA’O Organic Farms in Waianae, HI, and New Roots Community Farm in San Diego, CA. Two school gardens from Brooklyn are also profiled.
ABOUT First Lady’s Book, American Grown: Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America
In American Grown, by Crown Publishing, First Lady Michelle Obama explores how increased access to healthful, affordable food can promote better eating habits and improve health for families and communities across America. American Grown will be inspirational and instructive and will provide ideas for readers to get involved and join the movement to create community gardens, support local farmers markets, create school gardens, and start urban gardens, as well as other ways that they can make small changes to achieve big results and create healthy eating habits. American Grown will address the epidemic of childhood obesity by empowering parents and caregivers with information, improving food quality in schools, increasing access to healthy, affordable food, and encouraging increased physical activity. It will also include practical ideas, recipes, and resources as well as tips on how to begin a garden of any size, anywhere and how to support local farmers’ markets. Filled with gorgeous full-color photography, American Grown will include stunning photos of the White House garden and Mrs. Obama throughout the seasons, as well as other community and school gardens from around the country. < Excerpt Taken from American Grown Facebook Page.
Of course there are a growing number of reviews, but be your own critic and buy the book at www.randomhouse.com/crown and tell them that the Camden Children’s Garden sent you! CCG will soon be selling book! Bon Appétit!
Media Coverage About American Grown Book:
- ARTICLE – WHYY Newsworks/JerseyBites.com Covers Obama Book and NJ Food
- VIDEO – ABC News Interview with First Lady
- Press Release: First Lady Michelle Obama’s AMERICAN GROWN to be published on April 10, 2012 by Crown
- LINK – The Blog of Record About White House Food Initiatives
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND/OR UPDATES ON THIS STORY, TO PURCHASE BOOK FROM CCG, STAY TUNED
Garden Blog – www.CamdenChildrensGarden.wordpress.com and on All Social Media @ CamdenChildrensGarden.
The Camden City Garden Club, Inc. (CCGC), is a non-profit (501)(c)(3) environmental and educational organization that has been greening, beautifying and helping to feed the people of Camden, NJ, for 28 years through the Community Gardening Program. Founded by Mike Devlin and his wife Valerie Frick, the organization soon expanded to include a variety of community-enhancing programs, such as GrowLab which offers hands-on nutrition and horticulture education to Camden students in their classrooms for 23 years. The Youth Employment and Job Training Program completed its 18th successful year, giving Camden’s At-Risk teens the opportunity to earn an income while gaining skills and mentoring city school children. This program gives Camden’s future leaders job experience through community service. Since 1999, the CCGC has operated the South Jersey favorite oasis for families, the Camden Children’s Garden (CCG). This whimsical 4.5 acre horticultural playground serves as an education center, tourist destination, a safe haven for Camden families and the hub of all CCGC programs.
CAMDEN CHILDREN’S GARDEN / CAMDEN CITY GARDEN CLUB:
~ Mike Devlin, Executive Director 856-365-8733, firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Tracy Tomchik Nyszczot, Public Relations Consultant (PPbyTT), 856-365-8733, email@example.com
THE CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP:
~ The Crown Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc. 212-782-9000
READ MORE About Growin Food and Health in Camden, NJ….- U.S. Department of Education Funds City of Camden Education and Gardening!- CAMDEN KIDS GROW HEALTHY FOOD – Dec 2011 Blog Article