State Agency Reps See Benefit of WG School Gardens Program

Northern California may be in the middle of a “river” of storms, but that didn’t stop two state agency representatives from getting out and seeing first-hand what state funds can accomplish. Western Growers Foundation visited school garden grant recipient, Oak Park Preschool in Sacramento, Calif. Wednesday. The school received $1,000 as part of a grant funded by California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). They were one of 100 recipients selected to create and sustain an edible school garden.

Grant Specialist Faye Ison of CDFA and Kelley Knapp, nutrition education specialist with the California Department of Education (CDE) accompanied Western Growers Foundation on the tour. CDE is a grant partner with the Foundation and Knapp is one of the specialists who help review grant applications and follow the success of the program.

Ison said she was grateful to visit the garden and see the results of a garden grant. “It’s amazing to see the whole process from beginning to end. The site visit allowed me to see firsthand, how the funds were used and how it brought the garden to fruition – and seeing the preschool children’s enthusiasm and knowledge of growing a garden at such a young age was an added surprise.”

Pictured: Ison (left) discusses the importance of school gardens with Shirley Golden of Oak Park Preschool.