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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Loveland Learning Garden

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, Literacy

Mission: We exist to foster lifelong connections to the wonders of the natural world. To support this mission, we develop and deliver hands-on learning experiences in our garden and nature trail supplementing classroom instruction across science, math, social studies, language and health topics.

Results: Our program which maintains gardens (vegetable, floral and herbs) and a nature trail on school grounds, serves all of Loveland’s 1st-4th grade students (~1400 students). Our in school program, along with after school and summer camp events makes this one of the most omprehensive schoolyard garden and nature programs in the country. In 2015, we supported the startup of a garden education program at Stewart Elementary and willingly share our approaches with other districts looking to start nature education programs. In 2020, during Covid, we continued to produce food in our garden and donated over 1250 lbs of fresh produce to the LIFE Food Pantry. We plan to continue this community gift back with the students harvesting from the garden each season.

Target demographics: Foster lifelong connectIons to the wonders of the natural world through hands on, outdoor nature education for primary and elementary students

Direct beneficiaries per year: Our community by donating over 1200 lbs of fresh produce grown in our schoolyard garden to Loveland LIFE food pantry. We plan to offer classroom educators over 150 slots on our fall and spring schedules annually.

Geographic areas served: Loveland Ohio; Greater Cincinnati area

Programs: * A 20 week outdoor education program of hands on activities that offer observation, investigation and exploration of nature. * A signup schedule of lessons planned in collaboration with classroom teachers - topics include science, math, social studies, language arts and health * Garden Educators who prepare and teach lesson plans that are aligned with district and state requirements * Volunteers opportunities for all ages and backgrounds to help maintain the gardens and nature trail and to share talent on nonprofit committees * Encouraging students to garden and compost at home with their families and spend time outdoors exploring. •We share lesson plans on our website and offer guidance to other school nature programs

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Loveland Learning Garden (LLG) the last few months has been amazing! Since I live in a condo, LLG has been the perfect way for me to experience taking care of a garden: from planting seeds to watering & weeding to harvesting. When we have food to harvest like peas, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, then we donate it to LIFE food pantry (located across the street from LLG in Loveland, OH). LLG exists primarily to be a hands-on learning center for children to connect with nature, though adult volunteers like me have the opportunity to learn and connect with nature too. I knew a little bit about gardening when I started volunteering, but was not an expert. I learn more each time I’m at the garden. You don’t have to be a Master Gardener to volunteer at LLG; just have an interest in volunteering a few hours per week, per month, or one time during our Service Days. The volunteer coordinators and other volunteers are so kind. It feels good to be in nature, get exercise, grow food & flowers, meet nice people, and give back to my community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started helping Granny's Garden near the end of the summer and really enjoyed it! The members of the School are kind and fun to work with, and it's awesome to be able to learn a bit about gardening while also providing an interactive education for the LPS and LES kids. Granny's Garden deserves all the recognition for all the amazing work they do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Grannys Garden is great. Good for the community good for the environment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Granny's Garden is a lovely organization that services our local community. A great group of volunteers, too! Thanks for everything you do, granny's Garden!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My two sons got to experience GGS and really enjoyed it. I was so intrigued by the program that I began volunteering and ended up joining the board. I love that the program gets kids outside, digging in the dirt, and connected to nature. For some kids, it's the first introduction to where food comes from and how it's grown. It gives many children (my picky sons included) the opportunity and courage to try new vegetables for the first time as they are picked straight from the garden. The fact that the GGS lessons supplement the classroom curriculum is an added bonus. And since GGS donates much of the food harvested from the garden to LIFE Food Pantry, it's a true treasure to the entire community.

Laura Little C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became involved with Granny's Garden School as a Garden Educator in 2019. This program offers so much for the students of Loveland Schools and the general Loveland community as a whole. It allows children to have hands-on learning experiences in the garden utilizing and developing skills in science, math, social studies and ELA, and the gardens provide fresh produce for a local food bank! Granny's Garden School is a real asset to the schools and community!

S.Simmons

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Granny's Garden School has been valued in this community and a great asset to everyone. They provided a variety of classes for teachers to bring students as a hands-on/interactive learning. Volunteers came together, while following pandemic protocols, to ensure foods can still be grown and donated to the food pantry. From kids to grown-ups, the garden has brought positive outcomes for many!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the last year I have had the opportunity to volunteer teach at Granny's Garden School in their garden eduation programs. This program provides a wonderful opportunity for students grades 1-4 to experience academic lessons in the garden setting. The students also have the chance to explore the garden and to see how things grow. During the summer & fall seasons Granny's Garden School grows produce to donate to a local food pantry providing access to fresh vegetables. Additioanlly they are are providing garden habitat for pollinators to live, grow, and thrive. The Loveland community is very blessed to have this program for our students and the community as a whole.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher with Granny’s Gardens I saw first-hand how important being in nature is to Loveland students and teachers. Granny’s Gardens inspires kids, teaches the connection between the environment and where our food comes from, and promotes social responsibility in our every day actions. Every child, and adult, deserve opportunities to connect with nature in this way. The time in the garden reinforce learning standards and teaches real life skills.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great commuity non profit! We need many more of these places around the US. Our kids SHOULD have access to being in touch with nature and having a way to be hands on. Being a part of growing and preparing plant based food is key to good health, good for the environment and a way to support your love for animals. Go vegan and go Granny's Garden :)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Granny's Garden is doing great work in the Loveland community supplying food to local food pantries and educating kids in gardening. Keep up the good work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Granny's Garden School for the past 6 years. I have been very involved in the annual plant sale. It is amazing to me that the backbone of the program in terms of support come from volunteers, donations and fund raising events like the annual plant sale. The program derives zero funding from the school system or taxpayer dollars. Over the past decade+, the program has touched over 17,000 students.

Ali_12

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering to work with the Granny's Garden team several years ago and they haven't been able to get rid of me since! My family does not live in the district and get to enjoy the free benefits but we appreciate and enjoy the activities where we can participate and learn - summer harvesting, events, etc. This is truly a wonderful program with many many great volunteers and staff that are very dedicated to hands on learning in the gardens.

Tara49

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My three daughters thoroughly enjoyed the grannies garden school program. They learned a wealth of knowledge about gardening, where our food comes from, hard work, and even an introduction to cooking the food they grow!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family relocated into the Loveland, OH from out of state in 2012. We learned of Granny's Garden from our children, as they would come home raving over their garden activities and what they had learned in their outside class gardens at school! The opportunity that was given to us and our children through Granny's is priceless! What could be more important than learning how to grow your own food through hand's on experience?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great program! Had never even heard of a garden program on school grounds before moving to Loveland. Intrigued, I began to volunteer and learn more about the program. The kids are very involved and learn hands-on lessons on the nature trail and in the gardens. They plant flowers and vegetables throughout the school year and then harvest is truly a celebration, for they know what was involved in the process.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After three years as a Master Gardener volunteer at Ganny's, I am continually amazed at the different types of learning that both children and adults take part. Outside activities that demonstrate the importance of earthworms, seeds, planting and harvesting are just a few of the lessons that take place in a garden filled with breathtaking flowers. What a wonderful place to learn, volunteer, and teach. Thanks Roberta, Granny, for blessing Us with your passion!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Granny's Garden School since it's inception. It has grown from a wish for children to be able to pick a flower to a curriculum based learning program where students develop an appreciation for the world around them. Yes, they are able to pick a flower - and eat vegetables they have grown, walk the nature trail, watch monarch butterflies and praying mantis' go through their life cycle in our gardens, learn about composting/recycling. While the classes are in the gardens, they are getting a "hands on" education; all lessons are meshed with Ohio Standards. As an added bonus to the community, our school grounds are beautiful! I believe this program gives a benefit to our children that few schools can claim.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just started helping out at Granny's Garden School and am thrilled to see kids being shown once again where their food comes from. The program is sophisticated and thoughtful, and ties in so well to schools, teachers, and students. It's wonderful to see kids spending more time outside working, digging, growing, and harvesting!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Granny's Garden School isn't just about the great opportunity students have to learn math and earth science outdoors and in an engaging way, but it's also about the exposure they get to where our food comes from and healthy eating. My kids have come home asking me to get beets and radishes, and the program has inspired us to start our own family garden. Weekly garden time has always been a special and fun part of the school day that they have always looked forward to - which is the way learning should be!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Granny’s Garden School is an amazing educational resource! The outdoor curriculum covers math, science and social studies in a way that truly engages all types of learners through visual and hands-on activities. The children are eager to participate and their eyes light up with the Garden Educators join their class for their lesson. Digging in the dirt, analyzing results of experiments, observing the natural world on the nature trail, eating vegetables they’ve grown themselves are just a few of ways Granny’s Garden School literally brings learning to life for our children!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved as a volunteer with Granny’s Garden School since 2004. I’ve done every job imaginable with the program, from baking vegetable based baked goods for our bake sales, planning and working at our events, promoting our events, working in the gardens and recruiting volunteers.

One of the most satisfying roles I have had is recruiting volunteers. Many of our local school systems require community service, and I have worked with high school kids from all over the city. I always come away feeling a little more positive about the future of the world after spending time with these students.

The gardens also provide a place for all ages and types of people who want to help their community, but might not fit in as well with other volunteer opportunities.

One afternoon we had a group of deaf students from St. Rita School for the Deaf, working alongside students from Sinclair College who were learning American Sign Language.

We also have a group of mentally disabled adults who come and volunteer on a regular basis. These are folks who want to contribute, and they always leave with a feeling of accomplishment.

I’ve worked with moms who bring their young children, to elderly folks who no longer have a yard to care for, but still want to be active in gardening.

Granny’s Garden School is not just for Loveland students; the program provides a way for anyone to get involved and be a part of this wonderful organization.