Newsletter 6.4.2020

Connecting children to healthy food and nature
Statement of Solidarity
GROW is rooted in the belief that all members of our community and world are valued and needed.  Our organization was founded to provide safe outdoor learning environments to children, allow for hands-on learning and advocate for healthy food choices and the biology of the natural world in which children live with an emphasis on connecting children with the source of their food from seed to table.  Equity, diversity, respect, and collaboration are GROWs’ core values and principles, which guide our work every day. Recent events have left us feeling heartbroken, anxious and passionate about creating change in our country; starting with the work we do in our community. Due to our privilege, the majority of our board and staff can not understand walking the journey of our Black and Brown neighbors and students, though we will be allies.  Safe green spaces are needed for physical, mental, and emotional health. Whether due to under-investment in urban communities, lack of green infrastructure, safety concerns, or targeted discrimination, this basic need is not equally met. Systemic racism negatively impacts minority livelihoods and limits access to nature. Our garden and farm experiences are designed to provide children with opportunities to take the lead in cultivating healthy outcomes for their families and their community. This work magnifies our children’s voices and builds equity.  We work to make a lasting impact on the lives of our children by creating and fostering a culturally diverse environment that strives to be free of discrimination, bigotry and hate speech.  We see diversity and inclusion as a means to improve and strengthen a broad range of social and health outcomes. Through incorporating emotional health wellness practices, cultural diversity lessons and inclusive accessibility we will work to inspire our students and community because we know that it is critical to the health of our community to dismantle racism.Thank you for being a friend and partner in this important work.Farm Camp Update
It is with sadness and understanding that we must cancel farm camp programs for June and July this summer.  We are following the guidance of the School District of La Crosse and the La Crosse County Health Department.  This week the school district made the tough decision to cancel in-person enrichment classes and programs through the month of August to lessen the risk of spreading COVID19. 

We are evaluating our Empowered Girls and fee based camps in August to see if they can safely be provided.  We will share an update on our website as soon as that decision is made.  We look forward to all of the irreplaceable hands-on learning that takes place on the Farm when we are able to be together again for a full summer of camp in 2021.Click to see a video of this 9 week old Icelandic Cross lamb. He is bottle feed twice a day at Deep Roots Community Farm.
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