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Why I support Green Thumbs

Here’s what a few of our current Board Members say about Green Thumbs:

“Daily consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables has been shown to have positive impacts on children’s mental health, including reducing behavioural and emotional problems, bullying, aggression, anxiety, and depression. Yet only one-third of children between the ages of four and 13 eat five or more servings of vegetables and fruit a day. When kids know where their food comes from and can participate in growing it, they’re more likely to eat it. Thanks to the work of Green Thumbs, more than 5,000 children and youth learned how to grow and prepare fresh foods in 2018– helping to not only nurture students, but support health, wellness, and school and community connectedness. That’s why as a Regent Park resident I am a proud Board Director and member of Green Thumbs.”

Melana Roberts, Board member and Chair, Toronto Youth Food Policy Council

“Green Thumbs hired me as a Garden and Food Educator in 2006 and I worked there for 5 years. I learned so much about kids and plants, food and gardens, community engagement and all the inner workings of such a fantastic group dedicated to the vision of healthy urban communities. Green Thumbs has grown more than its gardens – ‘til this day I meet staff of community food agencies who have laid the important foundation of their work experience there. I joined the Board of Directors so I could give back to this organization which means so much to me. Although many people will agree that kids should learn to grow food and that schools need gardens, only a small number of people are actually doing the work to make it happen. Green Thumbs demonstrates the most dedication and specialization to in-depth, garden-based learning, rooted in healthy food and branching out to the whole community.”

Lara Mrosovsky, board member and Health Promoter on Green Roof @ Access Alliance Multicultural Health Centre

I am pleased to support Green Thumbs as a member of the Board of Directors and as a donor because of their commitment to enriching learning for children.  Through their programs my two children have had new experiences in their school garden that have enhanced what they were learning in the classroom.  They have felt soil and seeds between their fingers, they have watered and weeded to help their plants thrive, and they have observed the garden’s living creatures up close.  In Green Thumbs’ programs participants work and play outside, practice teamwork, enjoy accomplishments, and develop a strong appreciation for their environment. These are things that will serve them well in the future.”

Susan Blagg, board member and parent at Winchester PS

“I came to know Green Thumbs in 2012 when I was collecting data for my doctoral research on children’s experience of their urban school garden. Sunday Harrison and the wonderful staff and volunteers of Green Thumbs work closely with students and teachers to plan and practice garden-based and hands-on teaching opportunities. Along with learning about plants, ecosystems, and food, students (and teachers) were making connections to their local environment and recognizing and caring about the broader community inclusive of plants, animals, and place. And with their care and connections, their ecological citizenship and action grew. Green Thumbs, through their partnerships with schools and communities, helps to foster the development of ecological knowledge, care, and action in children and youth. Their commitment to digging in and learning with and in place and the impact that their programs and presence have on students, teachers, and communities continues to inspire and motivate my own work, and brought me to my current role as a board member. I am proud to be part of Green Thumbs, its organic engagement with children, schools, communities, and the land, and its fostering of children’s ecological care and citizenship.”

Susan Jagger, board member and Early Childhood Studies Professor, Ryerson University

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