Summer Opportunities with Trees Atlanta


Saturday, June 21st / 9AM – 12PM

Carter Center Pollinator Garden Planting with Mr. Alex from Trees Atlanta

Attention plant and pollinator lovers: Please join us June 21st, 2014, from 9:00 am-noon to installing and a native pollinator garden at The Carter Center. This is a fantastic opportunity not only give back to President Carter, but to assist our pollinator friends by providing them food and habitat within our urban forest. Trees Atlanta has been working with your students and they would be a great asset at the planting.

Partners in this effort include The Carter Center’s landscape volunteers, Professor Jaap de Roode, an expert on monarch butterflies from Emory University’s biology department, and his research undergraduate and graduate students, and K-12 students participating in Trees Atlanta’s education program. You are encouraged to bring your children to join in on this planting as it’s sure to be highly educational and a great time.

To sign up please email with names and ages of students who are going to attend the planting. Please one adult to every 4 students. Don’t forget to wear your close toed shoes, clothing that can get dirty and bring some water.


Monday, July 14 – Friday, July 18 

Tree’s Atlanta Junior TreeKeepers Camp

Trees Atlanta is proud to present the Junior TreeKeepers Pilot Program this summer 2014! Your child will be the first to enjoy a one of a kind program experiencing Atlanta’s very own urban forest. Junior TreeKeepers is an exciting 5-day outdoor program with you & your child in mind.

Highlights include:

  • Fun and inspiring activities including forest walks, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, community service projects, & more!
  • Educational series to encourage the environmental steward and nature explorer in your child.
  • Local trips to Atlanta’s Fernbank Forest, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Stone Mountain Park & Piedmont Park!
  • Biking on the Atlanta BeltLine including safety training from the Atlanta BeltLine Coalition. Have your child bring their own bike or Trees Atlanta can provide one for them!

Drop off begins at 7:30AM through 8:30AM. Pick up begins at 3:30PM through 5:00PM. Each day begins and ends at Trees Atlanta: 225 Chester Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30316

COST: $250        *scholarships available

For more information and registration, please visit our website at or contact


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Grow Your Own Mushrooms Grant

We were fortunate enough to receive a grant from the SPARK PTO to grow our own mushrooms this spring! For this project, we worked in collaboration with Jonathan Tescher at Sparta Imperial Mushrooms. Throughout the unit, students learned the history of mushrooms, how mushrooms grow, how to care for mushrooms, the parts of mushrooms, and about farming mushrooms all while growing their own mushroom all around the campus. You can see the resource here:



If you are interested in buying some of the mushrooms that Jonathan farms, you can visit him every Saturday morning at the Morningside Farmers Market.

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You can take a virtual field trip to his mushroom farm here:

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#GrowYourOwn Photo Competition

All SPARK students are invited to participate in the #GrowYourOwn Photo Competition!

To enter, email Ms. Mobley ( a photo of the student with an edible plant that they are growing at home!

Plants can be grown outdoor in a garden or indoors on a windowsill. You could grow herbs, fruits, or vegetables. They do not have to be ready to harvest in the picture, as long as they are growing!

All participants will be entered to win a ticket to the exclusive End of the Year Harvest Party on the rooftop garden in which students will receive produce bags to fill up with any harvest they would like from the rooftop garden to take home to share with their friends and family!

Photos are due on Friday, May 16! (Siblings may send in one entry together – Each student in the photo will be entered into the contest individually).


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We have a Winner!

Congratulations to Brayden Derijke from Ms. White’s Class! He received an Honorable Mention from the Clean Air Campaign for the comic he submitted into the Young Lungs Art Competition! See more here:

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National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

I’m excited to be in Austin, Texas for the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference this week!


Today, we’re visiting Farm to School programs throughout the city.

First stop – S.F. Austin High School. School garden led by the Spanish teacher and a Garden Club that meets weekly before school. 8 teachers participate in their CSA and receive produce from the garden weekly for $30/season.


Next Stop – Manor High School. Culinary Arts program that teaches food literacy and prepares students for food service careers.


Next stop – Travis High School. Extensive culinary arts program, outdoor classroom, and courtyard garden with fish pond and worm composting!


Last stop of the day – Rawston Saunders School. Meet Jeremy Barnwell, a kindred spirit and the chef, farmer, owner of Barnison. He serves over one hundred kids fresh, local, organic meals daily.


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Stop APS Budget Cuts!

Atlanta Public School’s revenue has increased $70MM but schools are still losing teachers. At my school, Springdale Park, we’ve had a 20% increase in students over the past two years, we’re well over the state of Georgia maximum class size in all grades, and we are still losing seven student-facing teaching positions this coming year – including my position as the Environmental Science teacher, teaching all students science, math, health, and nutrition on our rooftop garden. Atlanta taxpayers, please consider contacting your school board representative to advocate for APS to keep money at the school level.


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Food Literacy Institute

I was so honored to be chosen as a lead instructor at the inaugural Food Literacy Institute classes.

The Food Literacy Institute (FLI) is an open learning community based on the popular education model, which values the potential of everyday people to share knowledge and skills with one another as friends and neighbors. FLI is a project of the Food Commons Atlanta “Fertile Crescent” local economy development initiative and is intended to benefit primarily neighborhoods within South-West Atlanta. FLI is powered by Atlanta Food & Farm LLC and sponsored by a grant from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

This workshop gave practical examples of how to increase nutrients into daily eating habits. We discussed Harvard Medical School’s Healthy Eating Plate and strategies to choose the best foods to build, protect, and energize your body. We also created a smoothie that included many of the nutrient dense foods we discussed during the workshop.

There are many more classes being offered by the Food Literacy Institute. Check the flyer below for details!


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Walk to School Day

Springdale Park was excited to participate in the Safe Routes to School‘s Walk to School Day in conjunction with the Clean Air Campaign‘s Clean Commute Week again this year! Thank you to 11Alive News for coming out to document our event as well!

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See the complete gallery here:

You can see photos from last year’s event here.

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High Performance Healthy Schools

We were excited to celebrate the United States Green Building Council‘s High Performing Healthy Schools program at the Capitol last week.


In 2011, the USGBC used our school for a video promoting the program. You can view it here:

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Healthy Holiday Challenge!

Valentine’s Day is next week! We’re looking forward to seeing how our creative SPARK kids will show their friends that they care about them in healthy ways. For ideas, see the photos from last year here.

valentines-004Also, check out our Sugar Stacks lesson from Halloween to review what we learned about sugar to make informed choices this holiday season!


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