North County Garden Leaders Graduate

Year Two of the Garden Leadership Training program concluded on November 18th with a celebration of photos, plans for the future and of course, cake!

15 Garden leaders from Willits, Laytonville, and Covelo spent the last ten months strengthening community, building leadership skills and sharing hopes, triumphs, tips, challenges and delicious meals with each other.

The goal of this three year program is to train community gardeners to share, organize, lead, and continue to build the movement for expanding and sustaining spaces for community and school gardens. The Leadership Program is a component of NCO Community Action successfully receiving a USDA Community Food Projects grant to train community leaders in food production and work to alleviate poverty through re-building our local food system.

The group met every six weeks at the NCO Willits Action Group offices and each meeting focused on a different theme such as effective leadership, garden advocacy, market opportunities and growing community. Meetings were facilitated by Gardens Project coordinator Miles Gordon and other Gardens Project staff.

The group's final venture of the year was a PhotoVoice project in which Garden Leaders documented their experiences by taking photos of their community members at work in the gardens. These photos, with their interpretations, are being compiled into a traveling exhibit so look for them around town or view them online now!

Now that year two has been brought to a close, Garden Leaders from the North County have chosen to continue meeting as a Garden Leadership Council next year without facilitation by the Gardens Project. The Gardens Project will be moving onto year three of this three year program by starting the same training cycle with gardeners from the Mendocino County Coast this January. The training will be hosted by the Noyo Food Forest and facilitate by the Gardens Project of NCO.

To learn more about Year One and Two's journey through the Leadership Training Course, read all of the Leadership blogs.

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