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March 16th, 2017
Green Our Planet Builds 100th School Garden
The Las-Vegas-based Non-profit Will Soon Run Largest School Garden Program in the United States
A sampling of new school gardens. Clockwise from upper left: Lois Craig Elementary School; Hewetson Elementary School; Rundle Elementary School; Cunningham Elementary School.
      In January 2017, Green Our Planet reached a new milestone: it built it's 100th school garden. And since January, the local organization that began in Las Vegas in 2013 has built nine more. By the end of May, Green Our Planet will be running the largest school garden program in the United States, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
      "We began in 2013 with the idea of trying to launch a city-wide school garden movement," said Ciara Byrne, Co-Director of Green Our Planet. "But at the time, we had no idea whatsoever if that would be possible or not. I think the movement has definitely taken off," she said, "but only because a large number of teachers, principals, parents, students, corporations, sponsors, partners, volunteers, and the community has come together to make it happen. Garden Farms has been a huge partner and Switch has been our largest sponsor. Without them, a lot of this never would have happened. It's been exciting to see how the school garden movement has grown."
     According to Cheryl Wagner, Coordinator at the Clark County School District Partnership Office, there are approximately 150 school gardens now in the CCSD, a few of which have been around for as long as twenty years. Still, with a district that continues to expand and with nearly 370 public schools, there continues to be room for the school garden movement to grow.
     "At any given time, we have a waiting list of 50-60 schools that would like to have a school garden," Byrne says. "That demand is keeping us very busy!"

Many thanks to Switch, Wynn Resorts, The Jameson Foundation,  The Carver Foundation, Ken MacDonald, Zappos, Mentors Foundation, JBA Consulting Engineers, Control Power Concepts, Fruits N Roots, Vegenation, Los Vaqueros, The Whole Kids Foundation, Chris Farber, Bank of Nevada, Brownstein Farber Hyatt Schreck, KB Home, Pavestone, Alpha Landscapers, Vantage LLC, the Consumer Technology Assocation, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Garden Farms, and Star Nursery, without whom reaching this milestone would not have been possible!
Teacher Richard Savage and two students planting a fruit tree at Quannah McCall Elementary School in Feb, 2017. To view their garden build in action, click here
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Awards Green Our Planet $15,000 Grant
In January, 2017, the Consumer Electronics Association awarded Green Our Planet $15,000. This is the third consecutive award the CTA has made to Green Our Planet, totally nearly $100,000 and resulting in the construction of 18 school gardens. With this most recent grant, Green Our Planet intends to leverage it into "capstone" funding for 7 additional gardens. Above: a recent garden build on March 11, 2017 at Ferron Elementary School, a Title 1 school in East Las Vegas. The school's funding campaign was completed with funds from the recent CTA grant.
Hydroponics' Initiative At Elementary Schools Continues
Transplanting the first hydroponics plants at Walter Bracken Elementary School. On Feb 28th, 2017, Green Our Planet coordinator and hydroponics' expert Taylor Quiriam and school garden team lead teacher, Sherry Proudfoot, transplanted the first vegetable plants to the new hydroponics unit at Bracken Elementary School. A joint project between Green Our Planet and the local non-profit, Los Vaqueros, the project aims to introduce 10 hydroponics units to 10 CCSD elementary schools, using the produce to fuel supplemental salad bars at the schools. In the coming weeks, students will transplant additional plants to the units and later will harvest them. To hear Ms. Proudfoot explain it, click here.
Composting/Vermiculture Workshops Held
In partnership with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE), Green Our Planet offered a three-hour workshop for 27 teachers at Decker Elementary school in February, titled "Gardening 100: Composting and Vermiculture." The attendees teach at different CCSD schools that have garden programs. Karyn Johnson (pictured above left), a community-based instructor and horiculturist at UNCE, taught the course. Each attendee not only learned about how to compost at their schools, but also left with their very own "worm hotel," stocked with Red Wrigglers. On March 25th, a second workshop will be held at Robert E Lake, which will be the second time that this workshop collaboration has been offered.  If you are interested in attending sign up here
Nevada Big Give Day for Non-Profits Is Almost Here (March 23rd)
What is Nevada’s Big Give?

Nevada's Big Give is a 24-hour online crowdfunding event created to rally community support for Nevada’s charitable causes. This one-day fundraiser was created by NevadaGIVES and is powered by NevadaGIVES and United Way of Southern Nevada. It will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 12:00 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

What is the goal?
The goal of Nevada’s Big Give is to make charitable giving easy, accessible, and fun so Nevada’s nonprofit organizations, our community safety nets, can grow and thrive.

How does it work?
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, NevadaGIVES will host Nevada’s Big Give, a 24-hour giving event encouraging charitable donations through our online giving platform, hosted by Razoo and powered by NevadaGIVES and United Way of Southern Nevada.

 

Can I make my donation early for Nevada’s Big Give?

Yes! Starting on February 23, 2017, donors will be able to make their donation in advance, while still having it count for Nevada’s Big Give 24 hour event.

Is Green Our Planet Participating?

Yes! And we have our own donation page set up here!
4th Annual Green Our Planet School Garden Conference will take place on April 29th
To Be Held at the Innevation Center in partnership with Switch, the Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Clark County School District
April 29th (Saturday) from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Please join us for the latest installment of our yearly school garden conference. More than 50 different speakers will make presentations about everything you need to know regarding starting and running a school garden program at your school
Zappos and Green Our Planet to Organize the Largest,
Student-Run Farmers Market Ever Held In the U.S.

 
Where? At Zappos Headquarters (400 Stewart Ave)
When? May 4th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Who? The first 40 schools to sign up will receive a booth
How? Zappos is providing transportation for the students
Why? Why not? Las Vegas already has the largest school garden program in the U.S. Why not the largest student-run farmers market?
Will this make it into the Guiness Book of World Records? We hope!
Is this a collaboration? Yes, between Green Our Planet and Zappos.
Who is invited to purchase fresh veggies? Everyone!
How do schools sign up?
Right here!


 
Garden Tip

By Emily Beamguard, horticulturalist at Green Our Planet
 Spring is here!  The beautiful desert is blooming.  We  have longer days, warmer weather, and it’s a  great  time of the year to be outside.  Farmers  are preparing  to plant warm season crops and  harvest the last of the  spring leafy greens before  they flower. 
 
 Spring also brings exploding aphid populations on  the  tender greens. Often an aphid problem goes unnoticed,  until there is a sticky area on a plant or a tasty leaf  was harvested only to see it covered. Aphids quite  literally suck the life out of plants.  They have sucking mouth parts that puncture a leaf and drink the plant’s liquid. 
 
Fortunately, aphids - and other soft-bodied sap sucking insects- can be controlled easily with non-toxic methods.  Fill a 16oz spray bottle with water and add 5 drops of unscented dish-soap and gently mix. Make sure to spray the bottom of the leaves where the aphids like to hide.  Check for little black sugar ants along with the aphids.  These ants will care for a flock of aphids like people tending to their cows.  Ants will ‘milk’ the aphids for their honeydew (sticky sugary excretions) and protect aphid eggs from predators.  Ants will even move aphids from a sickly plant to a healthy plant, starting a new herd.  Sugar ants can be controlled with a mix of Borax, honey, and water placed in a small container near an ant trail.
 
After a treatment of the large populations of aphids, consider releasing beneficial ladybugs and lacewings into the garden.  Carnivorous insects can do a good job of keeping the aphid populations in check, but not controlling large outbreaks.   Make sure to only spray aphids, not the beneficial insects.
 
Happy Gardening!

 
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Green Our Planet's Platinum Sponsor is SWITCH and its office is headquartered at SWITCH's Innevation Center

View our STEAM lessons at:
 lessons.greenourplanet.org

Visit our school garden learning page

Contact us at: info@greenourplanet.org

Take a tour of an outdoor garden classroom with a third grader at: https://vimeo.com/127312698
 
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