by Ohemaa Boateng, Program Manager and Cara McCarthy, Indigenous Program Coordinator
[R: Local Explorers youth learning how worms play a crucial role in how plants grow]
Our Local Explorers program in collaboration with Project Canoe is in full swing! Local Explorers is land-based education and healing program for Black & Indigenous femme identified youth. Through this program the girls learn to see themselves in green and natural spaces, feel confident to explore it and learn about their connection to the land.
We kicked off to a great start in our Winchester school garden mid-October with ice breaker challenges facilitated by Segen, Program Manager with Project Canoe and a garlic planting and worm workshop run by Ohemaa, our Program Manager. For some of the youth this was their first time being in a space like Winchester school garden, exploring pollinator plants, learning how to plant garlic and discovering the many many different organisms in our garden beds.
Our program alternates between in-person and virtual programs, which has allowed us to delve deeper into different topics and needed conversations about exploring nature, sharing stories, meeting and connecting with other youth and facilitators that reflect them, and learning indigenous teachings facilitated by Cara, our Indigenous Program Coordinator.
Our most recent field trip was to Evergreen Brickworks. We had the opportunity to take a beautiful hike in the valley, learning about the neighborhood, show gratitude to the land, and learn about the native trees and plants along the trail.
[L: Youth learning about the sticky sap from the tree once used as a gum-like substitute]
During this trip the Local Explorers got a chance to visit Evergreen Brickworks farmer’s market, meet, learn and support from local farmers and vendors.
“I like that we got a chance to meet the people who are actually growing the food and making the meals. I don’t get a chance to do that when I go to the grocery store!”
Local Explorer Youth
[Youth meeting with one of the farmers selling produce at the farmers market]
We had amazing time discovery, exploring, planting, and learning. We are so excited and look forward to more Local Explorer adventures!
[Group photo at Evergreen Brickworks