School Garden Certification



HomepageImage2Over 185 area schools are engaged in school gardening (orange carrots on home page) In most of these schools, 1 or 2 teachers or staff lead gardening efforts as an activity implemented as time allows.  Principal and teacher turnover often leave schools without a garden leader and gardens become fallow.

Sustainable school gardening and outdoor learning requires integration into the curriculum, incorporation of nutrition education and an annual gardening strategy. This is the purpose of Green Teacher Network Certified School Garden Program (PURPLE CARROT).

August 2015 thirteen Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools began their year-long journey become our first PURPLE CARROT schools. They met with our leadership team to receive all supplies, demonstrations and curriculum to plant, tend and harvest a Fall and a Spring Garden.  After the harvest area chefs join them for tastings which focus on increased awareness of healthy fruits and vegetables (many served in school cafeterias).

Billingsville Media SpecialistThe class of 2015/2016 is:

River Oaks Academy – Principal Marilyn Osborne – LEAD TEACER: Angel Fleming
Oakdale Elementary – Principal Kimberly Alexander – LEAD TEACHER/PARENT ADVOCATE: Ricky Martin 
Paw Creek Elementary – Principal Danielle Belton – LEAD TEACHER: Pam Petry
Reid Park Elementary – Principal James Garvin – LEAD TEACHER: Wyanette Williams
Tuckaseegee Elementary – Principal Rhonda Gomez – LEAD TEACHER: Joyce Newman
Whitewater Academy – Principal Lauren Bloom – LEAD TEACHER: Kameron Moebes
Winterfield Elementary – Principal Angela Grant – LEAD TEACHER: Amethyst Klein supported by Anna Helms Kennington, Communities in Schools
Lake Wylie Elementary – Principal Brooklyn Hough – LEAD TEACHER: Cynthia Dey 
Palisades Elementary (new school) – Principal Gina O’Hare – LEAD TEACHER:  Dianne Byars
Pinewood Elementary – Principal Natasha Pegram – LEAD TEAHER: Victoria Gorman, Supported by Charles Diman community volunteer
Berryhill Elementary K-8 – Principal Cara Heath – LEAD TEACHER: Suzanne Beckman, also serves as curriculum coordinator
Idlewild Elementary – Principal Larenda Denien – LEAD TEACHER: Cynthia Christian
Billingsville Elementary – Principal Michelle Johnson – LEAD TEACHER:   Amanda Saunders Supported by Katherine Forney, Garden Club

Billingsville - Garden with Children

With 15% engagement at each school – impact is 88 teachers and 2,500 students


Support Team:

Garden Coordinator – Jeffie Hardin 704-877-8713
Executive Director – Edna Chirico 704-562-8847
Social Media Coordinator – Melissa Lefko
Lesson Plan Development – Suzanne Beckman
Food Access Liaison – Eliott Royal
Horticulture Specialist – Stephanie Anderson
Curriculum Connection Matrix – Alisa Wickliff
Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy – Erin Brighton