On Hawaiʻi Island there is a growing commitment to food self-reliance and land stewardship that promotes sustainable island communities. An Island of Hawaiʻi food system report prepared by the Rocky Mountain Institute in 2007 identifies the development and promotion of school gardens as an initiative that can substantially contribute to the development of a strong local food economy while helping youth with increased opportunities for health-promoting exercise and nutrition.
The goal of the Hawaiʻi Island School Garden Network (HISGN) is to help island schools build gardening and agricultural programs that will significantly contribute to the increased consumption of locally produced food by involving students, their school communities, and their family networks in food production.
We began work in September 2007. Currently, we work with over 60 public, charter, and private schools in assisting Garden Leaders, as well as school faculty and administration, in the creation and implementation of gardening and agricultural programs. Our work includes identification of funding opportunities and local agricultural resources, volunteer development, curriculum development, and professional development for our Garden Leaders. Networking opportunities and events bring this important work to the community.
School Garden programs create hands-on learning laboratories for students to deepen their understanding of the sciences and nutrition, incorporating social studies, language arts, and math into meaningful learning activities in an outdoor setting. We welcome public contributions to our program in the form of funding, shared resources, and volunteer time at one of our programs (see volunteer page for details).
Growing School Learning Gardens: A Summary of the 2012 Statewide School Garden Survey
The Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Baseline Survey
2012 Farm to School & School Garden Survey Summary: Hawai‘i Island
Just the Hawai‘i Island results from the Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Baseline Survey
Take a look at the Hawaiʻi School Garden Taskforce Web site
Read the Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Hui Strategic Plan for 2013