School Gardens Grow Healthier Kids: Seeding Green w/Richard Louv

Grow your own greens, get kids to eat greens, get OUT in the green, turn people green, live green, teach green, plant trees to game green and even SEED green in virtual worlds, yep, I’d say the healthy kids movement is fully underway…

My inbox today has the Healthy Kids Expo in Canada taking exhibitor apps, the Women’s Fund hosting the kickoff of Bioneers by the Bay (w/coolness king Van Jones of Green for All, and ever-awesome CNBC green journalist Simran Sethi) and yours truly of Shaping Youth headed to hear author Richard Louv, 2008 Audubon Medalist, as keynote for the Growing Greener School Grounds Conference! (walk-ins are welcome, last-minute greenies!) Last Child in the Woods is near and dear to me, for I’ve observed more than my fair share of media savvy kids with “nature-deficit disorder” in my own hands-on work with kids.

Louv has succeeded in skyrocketing media awareness of this cultural phenom, using media and marketing itself as a channel for change…(big fan of same, as regular readers know)

Over 300 green educators promoting ecological schoolyards and sustainable school gardens will be at this massive networking and resource fair, so I’ll report best practices and new research findings after tonight…

S.F. Green Schoolyard Alliance is showcasing established greening projects (like this cool site, REAL school gardens) along with kids’ wellness and whole food displays, and all kinds of fun classroom ideas and eco-community ventures…

The Green Schoolyard Alliance offers a wealth of ‘how-to’ knowledge and resources for ANY neighborhood to build community via local ecology, environmental stewardship, innovation for education, and creative ways to nurture kids’ academic mindfulness in health sciences.

The whole ‘inter-connected’ concept of well-being for the planet and the body has been a long-standing ‘given’  to me. It’s one of our core content layers when Shaping Youth lifts the veil on the ‘junk food for the mind and body’ approach…The type and imbalance of media and marketing we’re choosing to consume in our mind, body, and meals is what impacts the total physical and emotional well-being of children…Junk in, junk out. Quite simple, really…

Wonder what kind of fun No Child Left INSIDE enrichment I’ll walk away with…I’m counting on all kinds of new ideas for ways to ‘get ‘em outdoors’ on both the wellness AND eco front.

I plan on covering this event over on EcoChilds Play too, where I just wrote a piece on GreenRaising (school fundraising ideas that aren’t the usual wrap-n-read catalog offerings) Everything from seed packets to organic herb gardens…fair trade chocolate, pretty cool stuff for getting ‘how-tos’ for ‘greening your school’ early on!

Meanwhile, here’s the workshop line-up …from S.F. Green…And:

Here’s Richard Louv’s recent Today Show interview about ways to help your kids experience nature, and his local segment on KGO along with a smidge of his national print and broadcast coverage.

I should add that both Richard Louv & Joseph Cornell are mainstays for my baby shower baskets of green/healthy/outdoor themes for new parents. Even though my personal books are dog-eared and battered from backpack use, they’ve both freshened their multiple editions with expanded offerings…so I’d put them on the wish list for the holidays…

If you’re unfamiliar with Cornell, here’s his site: ‘Sharing Nature with Children.’ Highly recommend both these gents for getting kids to engage with mother Earth for a greener future.

Related Growing Greener Grounds Resources

Gardening With Kids Promotes Environmentalism (Eco Child’s Play)

LifeLab Science Based Program: Garden Based Learning for a Sustainable Future

YouTube: CBS: Getting City Kids Into the Outdoors

School Garden Week: Oct. 25-31 CSGN Ca. School Garden Network

Impact of School Environs on Physical Activity & Food Choices (Maine Nutrition–52pp pdf)

Help Get Junk Food Out of School Lunch Programs: Filmmakers Amy Kalafa & Amy Jussel Team Up

Kid-Friendly Vegan Recipe: (ECP Roasted Squash)

DIY: Make and Can Organic Strawberry Jam

Organic Jams by Spoon (Eco Child’s Play)

Center for EcoLiteracy

Children in Nature Collaborative: Reconnecting with the natural world

And to inspire you, here’s a sweet video of ‘Little Sprouts’ from the Patriot Ledger outside of Boston MA:



  1. As always Amy…class-act of a blog! Thanks for being there!

  2. All: I plan on doing a follow up to the event last night, as Richard Louv was next to me in the front row, looking weary from his 22 city sojourn, but inspiring nonetheless…

    Interestingly enough looking at my notes they bear a strong resemblance to this article in when his book was first released in 2005! So I guess he reiterates many of the same points (you’d have to on stage doing the media gig I suppose) There’s a reason I wasn’t meant to be a ‘face person’ and prefer to peck away at the keyboard to make sure I can be at the volleyball games. 😉

    Anyway, here’s the article in the interim, while I get the recap post together:

  3. Hey! Love the blog!

    Many schools use our environmental fundraiser to purchase things like seeds for their schools.

    Check out what we do at

    Stay Green!

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