Shadow Shadow

L.I.F.E. Garden Program Milestones

Autumn 2009

The L.I.F.E. Garden Program is one of 20 innovative initiatives featured in Smart by Nature (September 2009), a new book on schooling for sustainability by Michael Stone and the Center for Ecoliteracy.

Spring 2009
The Heller Family Foundation donates three unheated hoop houses (greenhouses) to Lopez School for growing greens year round.

Evening Meals at School, a monthly community dinner sponsored by the Lopez Locavores and inspired by the L.I.F.E. Garden Program, marks the completion of its second season. Over 300 participants celebrate, enjoying gourmet lamb stew, local musical entertainment and the Vita Parcours L.I.F.E. Trail, open to the public for the first time, with tours of the nature trail and the fitness stations.

Autumn 2008

The Heller Family Foundation is established as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

Autumn 2007
Lopez Island School District formally integrates the L.I.F.E. Garden Program and hires Curriculum coordinator, Lorri Swanson, as a classified staff member. Funding was provided by Heller Family (J. Heller Unitrust) through the Lopez Island Education Foundation.

Summer 2007
The Summer Institute is held on Lopez Island for educators, activists, food service personnel, school board members, wellness advocates and parents interested in teaching farm to school curriculum. Antonia Demas, PhD, of Food Studies Institute presents "Food is Elementary," and Jackie Kramer of WSU King County Extension presents C.H.A.N.G.E. curriculum.

Autumn 2006
Lopez Island School District adopts a Wellness Policy that recognizes the district’s role in collaborating with the community to model and actively practice the promotion of student and family health.

Through a grant given from the Heller Family (J. Heller Unitrust) to Lopez Community Land Trust, two positions are funded for the L.I.F.E. Garden Program: Rhea Miller becomes Program Director and Lisa Murgatroyd, a trainee on S&S Homestead Farm, becomes the first curriculum coordinator for the L.I.F.E. program.

Lopez Community Land Trust handles all contracts for L.I.F.E. Garden program, accepting donations for staff, locally grown food for school cafeteria, and provides on-going support for the program through interns.

Portable kitchen carts and seed light towers for the classrooms are purchased, and the "Student Eating Survey" is conducted.

Summer 2006
The mission and objectives of the L.I.F.E. Garden Program is adopted by the Lopez School Board.

An unheated hoop house, donated by the Heller family (J. Heller Unitrust), is built on S & S Homestead Farm to provide an outdoor classroom and to grow food for the cafeteria. Volunteers painted the cafeteria, built raised beds for food production, and staffed a L.I.F.E. Garden Program promotional booth at the Farmer's Market.

Winter 2005 - 2006
Lopez Community Land Trust hires Rhea Miller under LCLT Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) to help develop the farm to school program at the Lopez School.

Heller family proposal to provide funding and to expand farm to school program is accepted by the school board.

The L.I.F.E. Garden Committee is formed at the Lopez Island School, in collaboration with S & S Homestead Farm, Lopez Community Land Trust, WSU Extension San Juan County, Lopez Island Education Foundation and the Heller Family.

Autumn 2005  
The Heller family offers hoop house and funding to expand the school's farm program and is invited to present formal proposal.

Autumn 2004
S&S Homestead Farm receive a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research Education) Grant, a federal grant funded by the Farm Bill.

Autumn 2002
A farm program is started by Henning Sehmsdorf and Elizabeth Simpson on S&S Homestead Farm for Lopez K-12 students. A salad bar is established in the school cafeteria with farm-grown greens.

Programs for Change

Cultivating Change

The L.I.F.E. Garden Program teaches K-12 students how to grow and eat organic, healthy food...

Nourishing Change

Evening Meals at School serve up organic, affordable communal dinners for the whole community...

Demonstrating Change

S&S Homestead Farm demonstrates principles of sustainability and takes a leadership role in educating youth...

Inspiring Change

The Vita Parcours Lopez Island Fitness and Ecology Trail offers a scenic fitness experience for all abilities and ages...

Promoting Change

Local initiatives support cultural diversity, a connected community, and healthy, well-informed individuals...

Healthy Change

Collaborating with a local effort to bring clean water to a village in Ethiopia with the Water for Anasi project...