Enmarket and Healthy Savannah selected SUGA as the 2017 Encourage Health Grant.

grant updates

Thank you to Lucky’s Market of Savannah for picking SUGA for their Bags of Change campaign for their first quarter. For every reusable bag you fill up at checkout, they give a wooden dime to donate to one of the local partners.  SUGA received $964.00 – that covers the cost for 2 months of salary for the garden manager!

School Garden Manager Statement of Purpose

By hiring and implementing a School Garden Manager, SUGA’s goal is to increase the use of existing school gardens into the existing everyday curriculum by alleviating the time constraints that basic garden maintenance demands from the teachers.   Benefits of a successful School Garden Program A comprehensive amount of research has shown that garden-based learning contributes to increased nutrition awareness, environmental awareness, learning achievements, life skills, health and wellness. The proliferation of school gardens has led to an abundance of existing and reviewed curricula, making it easy for teachers to incorporate this dynamic learning environment into their class schedules and lesson plans. Purpose of Program This proposal increases the viability of school gardens by addressing some of the most prevalent factors that contribute to the failure of school gardens. The time, knowledge base and experience necessary for the implementation and regular maintenance of a school garden are often beyond the scope of the teachers or volunteers who wish to utilize a school garden for educational purposes. Often, this leads to the physical deterioration of the garden, resulting in the inability for its continued integration into curricula. Given SUGA’s previous success in the facilitation of a garden manager at the West Broad YMCA, a clear precedent has been set on how a third party organization that possesses the combined experience and knowledge base, is best suited to implement and administer a Garden Manager Program; thus alleviating the burden from the SCCPSS board and staff. Background Information The mission of the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance (SUGA) is to increase access and awareness to local, healthy food, one garden at a time. We are cultivating a gardening movement in Savannah’s communities through outreach, education and support. SUGA provides interactive children’s exhibits and workshops throughout the year at area events, in addition to conducting educational and community building  events of their own. Current initiatives include a garden tool drive that will result in the distribution or loan of tools, for free, to area gardens. SUGA also hosts a monthly networking event for gardeners and their supporters, building awareness and community amongst area gardens. The SUGA website continues to develop as an online resource, mapping resources and area gardens, offering a forum for increased and curated information exchange, and newsletter for current events.   Scope of Work Duties of the School Garden Manager will include, but not be limited to the following:

        1. Review applications for participation in the program and offer recommendations for review by the SUGA Garden Committee.
        2. Consult with school staff or counterparts on the  resources needed to maintain the garden. This may include procurement, construction or repair of garden resources; such as irrigation, water catchment systems, beds, planters, compost bins, etc.
        3. Consult on a production schedule, i.e. the planning of crop rotations, indicating when to grow and harvest crops.
        4. Consult on the purchasing of additional materials.
        5. Maintain garden beds (fertilizing, weeding, watering)
        6. Oversee the general quality of the garden and identifying problems—insects, weeds, diseases—and finding solutions to the problems.
        7. Consult or oversee the harvesting and preparing of produce for market or consumption.
        8. Plant and maintain cover crops as other crops stop producing.
        9. Plant propagation as needed.
        10. Maintain regular communication with any entities with whom the garden works, including the school faculty, PTA, and other organizations who benefit from utilizing the garden.
        11. Additional provisions to be included in the Contractors Agreement, signed and agreed, between SUGA and the SGM.

The SGM will not provide any educational programing at participating schools, nor will the SGM provide financial support or materials related to the construction or repair of a school garden. Outcome and Performance Standards Gardens included under the program will be sufficiently maintained to increase their viability by addressing all factors likely to contribute to failure. A minimum of one working visit per week to maintain and monitor the garden is required. More visits may be required to water the garden, depending on the type of watering system and the level of involvement with the teachers and students. A minimum of two working visits per week during three the school breaks (Fall, Winter, Spring) is required, as well as one working visit per month during the summer break. All work must be coordinated with school representatives to ensure that it does not interfere with teaching schedules. SUGA will directly evaluate the productivity of the SGM via site visits, as well as through feedback provided by school representatives. Term of Contract Position runs April 1 to Dec. 31.   $300/a month per school Awarded Contract SUGA awarded the School Garden Manager contract to Victory Gardens for the 2016 contract period.  We are looking forward to reporting back about the progress of this manager soon!