Silver Gate Elementary Open House, Sept. 2021
Our second year through the pandemic kept us busy as we continued strengthening our organization from within, as well as maintaining our existing programs for the greater education community.
In February, we awarded $5000 to San Diego County Schools through 8 grants. Among other things, these grants allowed several schools to purchase supplies for rebuilding and expanding aging garden infrastructure. Through a partnership with Lettuce Grow, we were also able to offer hydroponic Farm Stand growing stations to all other applicants that we were unable to provide a monetary award to.
In September, We successfully collaborated to host an in-person “Gator Garden Open House” at Silver Gate Elementary School, a public school in Point Loma which we have funded over the years. Parent volunteers at this school provide garden lessons for ALL students on a weekly basis! Visitors were able to learn about their newly published K-4 curriculum, see how their educational materials are organized and stored, and explore unique features such as their gathering space, compost and seeding areas, and a vine-covered hiding place for the Kindergartners.
We worked with TMD Marketing to create new promotional materials as well as officially unveil our “Discover San Diego Agriculture” Virtual Field Trip webpage, featuring videos and lesson plans for Del Rey Avocado, Chaparral Honey Company, and Olive Hill Greenhouses. This new program was made possible due to grant funding from the SDGE Environmental Champions program. We successfully applied for a new round of funding to add two new videos in 2022, focused on the importance of trees and ag/horticultural operations on our region’s climate change mitigation strategies.
Behind the scenes, SDAITC board members worked hard to ensure the organization’s sustainability by developing and refining internal processes. We organized our working and historical materials for easier use, successfully conducted two fundraising events in partnership with the Farm Bureau and its members, updated our Internship program materials, and conducted a Board Skills Assessment to determine in which directions we must grow to become more inclusive and well rounded as a group.
Looking forward to 2022, we reflect on what drives us to further our mission. Agriculture and horticulture in San Diego quietly deliver significant economic contributions in our region, and also help to make it a beautiful and healthy place to live and play. We are called to build understanding about the need to maintain agricultural land in our county, as well as stimulate a greater flow of young people into meaningful and rewarding agricultural jobs. Our goals next year include leveraging partnerships to deliver high quality educational programming, and strengthening our fundraising skills so that we can provide more support to area schools.