header image

Our Blog

Ecological Literacy


I’m brushing up on my environmental education for the Gardens-to-Hospitals program that I’m building for Lisa’s Organics. It’s a program where school gardens partner with hospitals on collaborative projects which galvanize both school and hospital to provide healthy meal programs. Students and children at the hospital will come together for an interactive growing activity or art project. The projects need to be meaningful and impactful.

So I went to straight to the source, The Center for Ecoliteracy, in Berkeley, CA. I ordered one of their books, “Ecological Literacy,” in order to immerse myself in the language and produce thought-provoking and policy changing events. The book is a compilation of essays and visionary thought from today’s foremost authorities on progressive education.

David Orr of Oberlin College laid the groundwork, “all education is environmental education.” And founder for the Center, Fritjof Capra, explained that further to mean, “Education for sustainable living fosters both an intellectual understanding of ecology and emotional bonds with nature that make it more likely that our children will grow into responsible citizens who truly care about sustaining life, and develop a passion for applying their ecological understanding to the fundamental redesign of our technologies and social institutions so as to bridge the current gap between human design and the ecologically sustainable systems of nature.”

Amen Fritjof! It’s all about building connections! And school gardens reconnect kids to the fundamentals of food. Systems-based learning helps young people see the connectivity of relationships in their environment and surrounding ecosystems. Another contributor, Maurice Holt, points to the essential role that school gardens play in “understanding, not just memorizing, ecological principles.”

Lisa’s Organics wants to foster these types of educational opportunities. Gardens-to-Hospitals will help young people understand how food unites us culturally and socially enabling them to make a deeper connection to where their food comes from and the impact that food availability has on their whole community not just in their own lunchroom.