Chipotle Cultivate Foundation Partners with the Ecology Center to expand the school garden program.
Chipotle Cultivate Foundation awards $100,000 grant to The Ecology Center’s Grow Your Own! school garden program
The Ecology Center will continue to expand its Grow Your Own! school garden program with the help of a $100,000 grant from the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, the charitable foundation founded by Chipotle Mexican Grill to help create a more sustainable, healthful and equitable food future.
Launched in spring 2012, Grow Your Own! is a K-12 education initiative that equips teachers, administrators, and parents with tools and resources to create and maintain a school garden curriculum. The goal of the program is to teach kids how to make informed choices and establish behaviors that will have lasting benefits for their health, communities, and ecosystems.
With the help of the Cultivate Foundation’s grant, Grow Your Own! will have the opportunity to work with 20 schools throughout Southern California, enhance program offerings, and create useful tools and resources to better engage students and the community in the garden. Grow Your Own!’s 2015 plans include:
· Develop a coordinator program that conducts bimonthly school visits to help track and facilitate each garden’s progress and provide on the ground support to garden leaders and teachers
· Create an extended leader training program that helps leaders build mentorship skills and enhances successful integration of garden programs
· Launch a dedicated Grow Your Own! website to guide teachers through a full school year of garden curriculum development, lesson plans, community building strategies, and garden design and maintenance, with incremental growth towards self-sufficiency within five years
· Introduce an online discussion forum for Grow Your Own! teachers, administrators, parents, gardeners, and leaders to collaborate and share knowledge, insights, and skills
“We are so grateful to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation for helping us build and expand this unique program and deepen our growing school garden community in Southern California. This year we are launching some exciting tools that will help us connect even more quickly and directly with our garden leaders, and thanks to this grant, we foresee already starting out to be a strong third year for the program,” says Dr. Meg Hiesinger, Director of School Programs at The Ecology Center.
“Since beginning our relationship with The Ecology Center, we have been impressed with their ability to execute their program and relate to youth on the importance of good food,” said Chris Arnold, secretary of the Cultivate Foundation. “One of the goals of the Cultivate Foundation is to foster better food literacy, cooking education, and nutritious eating, and through The Ecology Center’s Grow Your Own! program, we are now able to work together to cultivate a new generation of informed eaters.”
About Chipotle Cultivate Foundation
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) established the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation in 2011 to extend its commitment to creating a more sustainable future. The foundation is committed to providing resources and promoting good stewardship for farmers; promoting better livestock husbandry; encouraging regenerative agriculture practices; and fostering better food literacy, cooking education, and nutritious eating. Since its inception, the foundation has contributed more than $2.5 million to like minded organizations committed to cultivating a better world through food. Visit CultivateFoundation.org for more information.