The other organization that really impressed me at the conference was City Blossoms, a garden-based education nonprofit in Baltimore MD. At the conference the Executive Director, Rebecca Lemos, co-led a workshop called "Grow for the Goal" where we the participants were encouraged to think about where our true interests and passions lie in our community gardening efforts. The goal of City Blossoms is to create community spaces that children and their families will bond with and absorb into their own daily lives. To this purpose, Rebecca and her staff make the children the designers and tenders of the gardens, hosting regular workshops and workdays in the garden. They often use visual art (especially sculpture) to give the children a sense of ownership of the space. At some of their gardens the kids create products to sell to the community, like dried herbs, lotions and other beauty products that are made from the garden.
I think I was so struck with this organization and this workshop specifically because Rebecca is approximately my age, and she has done so much that I want to do! Creating children's gardens, each one a unique representation of the specific community of people who created it, using art to tie people to the land, and using gardens to teach children and their parents to care for at least that one little piece of the Earth. I picked her brain a bit after the workshop and took three pages of notes.
Check out their adorable blog, where all the pictures on this post came from!
Next up: Dale Chihuly and the Franklin Conservatory