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City Club of Eugene: Science Projects Good Enough to Eat

Fresh picked vegetables including carrots and lettuce.
School Garden Project of Lane County

Program Date: Mar. 31, 2023
Air date: Apr. 3, 2023

From The City Club of Eugene:

In community and school-based gardens across the region, students and families are getting their hands dirty while learning to love new foods and mastering new concepts in science, agriculture, and culinary arts. In this program, three of the many local gardening projects will explain their work and how it generates new bonds across generations and neighbors and builds skills in environmental stewardship.

School Garden Project of Lane County is a local nonprofit that currently partners with 18 elementary and middle schools using their onsite gardens as outdoor classrooms. Their activities are designed to introduce children to new science concepts, teach basic gardening skills and encourage eating healthy garden produce. They provide “Science in the Garden” lessons to over 1,400 children annually. In addition, they partner with many other nonprofit organizations to provide gardening resources and support to children and their families in our community.

The Grassroots Garden, a program of FOOD for Lane County, has transformed the 2.5-acre backyard of St. Thomas Episcopal Church into an organic growing space that is active year-round. It includes a City of Eugene compost demonstration site and a full outdoor kitchen. FFLC staff maintain the GrassRoots Garden with help from thousands of children, youth, and adult volunteers. Staff and OSU Lane County Extension Master Gardeners teach workshops and lead educational activities in the garden.

Huerto de la Familia, in the final stages of a merger with Centro Latino Americano and Downtown Languages, manages six community gardens across Lane County, providing 140 Latinx and immigrant families with their own garden plots. In these plots, families can grow healthy, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. Families have complete control over which crops they grow. The program offers workshops related to gardening and food preservation, access to communal tools, fertilizer, seeds, and plant starts.


Mindy Bell joined School Garden Project as Executive Director in May of 2018. She has over 18 years of private financial sector business management and national team-building experience. In the 12 years since she transitioned into nonprofit management, she has built programs from the ground up, done advocacy work for under-served communities at the state and federal governmental level, and been instrumental in establishing local community collaborative partnerships. She earned a BA in telecommunications from the University of Oregon.

Merry Bradley isFOOD for Lane County’s GrassRoots Garden Coordinator. She has taught food growing and composting since becoming a Master Gardener in 1999. In November 2000, she began coordinating work in GrassRoots Garden, a 2.5-acre urban educational garden. There, she serves FOOD For Lane County’s mission of reducing hunger by engaging our community in growing food, building skills, and fostering positive relationships. Community participants help grow food for the food bank. Merry created the outdoor kitchen at GrassRoots; every day, participants share a nutritious, abundant vegan lunch made from basic staples and garden produce.

Gatlin Fasone Alshuyukh is the Organic Garden Program Manager at Huerto de la Familia. Much of her education was spent outside of the classroom, through internships with nonprofits that serve Latinx and immigrant communities in Washington State and Oregon, including an internship with Huerto. Gatlin is excited to contribute to more equitable access to organic produce and to promote food sovereignty in our community. She earned a BA at Evergreen State College, with an emphasis in Cultural and Community Studies.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Mon., Apr. 3, at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, contact City Club of Eugene at(541) 485-7433, administrator@cityclubofeugene.org

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