School is out so it's a good time to get to know Hawaii State as a leader in the green schools movement. Unexpected but true - Hawaii is one of just seven states mandating green innovations in school construction. Making headlines as a powerful tool in Hawaii's green school arsenal are student gardens. Hawaii Island is recognized as Hawaii's trailblazer for school gardens. Holding the maschete that is clearing the school garden trail and funded generously by a foundation founded by one creator of Ebay, The Kohala Center is a Big Island non-profit that hires and pays two Hawaii Island School Garden Network Coordinators; one each for the west and east sides. I've noticed the west-side coordinator, Nancy Redfeather, provides essential components needed to create the real social change an Island-wide school garden movement offers - networking opportunities, teacher training, funding connections, volunteer information, and good, ol' teacher bonding situations. At last summer's Network provided conference, I discussed as far-ranging issues as worms to widgets, created warm fuzzies with other island teachers, and discovered that the other Islands are trying to re-create the school garden system that blesses the Big Island. Most importantly, Nancy's work makes me feel like a vital part of an Island-wide, country-wide, world-wide "return to the gardens" green movement instead of a lone soldier in a lone school in a lone garden. As for Kona, Nancy is on to her next revolutionary tasks -creating Hawaii-based garden curiculum and training for lead classroom teachers, bolstering ecoliteracy within the educational structure, and creating a lone, GMOfree, Big Island seed bank that will preserve seed integrity for generations. For these reasons and more, I heart the Hawaii Island School Garden Network.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.