The Cascadia Conservation District (CD) project provided education and outreach to all citizens of Chelan County. Activities included educational workshops, technical support, and liaisons with community partners for educational events, developing new opportunities to support urban agriculture.
The district created a new urban agriculture after school program, which served to introduce agricultural concepts as well as hands-on work in the school gardens and experiential nutrition education.
Staff attended and participated in various urban ag educational events at farmers markets, Master Gardeners meetings and school plant sales. Technical assistance was provided in person, over the phone, via e-mail and through informational articles in district newsletters and the Wenatchee World.
Three bilingual educational handouts (water wise, compact composting and container gardening) were developed for use at workshops and events. Three events were held to promote the brochures: “Composting 101”, “Container Gardening Workshop” and “Your Lawn, Watered Right.”
The project supported the application for and implementation of a City of Wenatchee grant for improvement of an established community garden through installation of a new shed, garden art, fresh compost, sponsorship of several community garden events and signs identifying the new locally-chosen name for the garden. District staff helped develop new community gardens, as well as assisted with upkeep of those already in existence (obtaining compost, holding seed-starting events, sponsoring gardening workshops).
The district board has supported the urban agriculture program by adding it to the Long-Range Plan over the next five years. This will include some funding from the district’s base budget for staff time to run the program. Partners have committed to continuing some of the programs. For example, the Master Gardeners will continue to support the after-school Urban Agriculture Program. The district has also secured several small grants to continue to fund various projects started this year and will continue to apply for more as opportunities arise.