By partnering with a school, empowering leaders, and cultivating a garden, we are able to impact not just the students, but the parents, teachers, and entire community.
I’m Evan Marks, founder and visionary behind The Ecology Center. I traveled the world managing and designing farms before deciding that the place I could make the most impact was where I grew up — Orange County. The community that came together around this idea successfully transformed a dirt lot and vacant historical home into a vibrant ecological oasis in just a few years.
We decided to put the change we’d like to see throughout our community in action here. By creating The Ecology Center as a model of ecological design, we use our space to educate and inspire individuals to transform their homes, workplaces, and schools.
Although we apply a variety of solutions towards creating a more positive future, we have come to realize that schools are a powerful hub for community change. One of our most established programs, Grow Your Own!, is a support network that helps to start and maintain school gardens in dozens of local schools. By partnering with a school, empowering leaders, and cultivating a school garden, we are able to impact not just the students and their habits, but the parents, teachers, and entire community.
Kids consistently inspire us with their creative thinking around ecological designs. By empowering the youngest among us to be the leaders of the future, we generate exponential benefit throughout the community.
These students then take the knowledge home — they push their parents and relatives to think differently about our relationships to the natural world and each other. We then get the joy of seeing parents and teachers join our community to begin their own eco-journey through workshops, events, and festivals at The Ecology Center.
It is for this reason that we treasure our relationships with local schools. Throughout the years, we continue to invest in these partnerships and evolve our efforts to support the community. This is also why we are absolutely thrilled to announce a partnership with Alice Waters’ organization the Edible Schoolyard Project. The Edible Schoolyard Project has provided support, curriculum, and healthy meals for decades to school children throughout America. It is an honor to stand alongside them in support of edible education and vibrant schoolyards.
There’s something magical that happens when a young mind inspires change. Leading up to our annual fundraiser Green Feast, we’ll be celebrating school gardens alongside our new partners. We are excited to share with you accessible garden curriculum for teachers, an interview with Alice & the Edible Schoolyard Project, and continuing inspiration around our shared mission: a garden in every school.
Join us. The future is abundant!
Executive Director, The Ecology Center