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Positive Mental Attitude: 10 Questions with Green Ambassador Brian Oates

Crystal Williams

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By: Norie Wright

This week’s featured Green Ambassador is Brian Oates. Brian is a rising 11th grader at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School - Capitol Hill Campus. His interests include track and cross country, poetry, literature, and the human mind. This is his first year with the Green Ambassador Program.


Washington Youth Garden: Why did you sign up for the Green Ambassador Program?

Brian Oates: Mr. Jake* is a cool person. At orientation, we participated in cool activities and he talked about how we would meet people and try new things, and I was really excited about that.

* Jake Dacks is Garden Manager for the Washington Youth Garden and runs the Green Ambassador Program.

 

WYG: What’s your favorite thing about GAP?

BO: The people.

 

WYG: What do you bring to the table as a Green Ambassador?

BO: I have a positive mental attitude, and I'm a hard worker. I also talk a lot, so I can easily communicate with everyone.

 

WYG: What is one important thing that working here has taught you?

BO: I've learned a lot. With construction tools, precision matters. I've learned you can't give up. I’ve learned about teamwork. There's a lot.

 

WYG: What will be or has been the most challenging task for you this summer?

BO: The heat and the bugs, but that’s really the only thing.

 

WYG: What is the dirtiest job you have done this summer so far?

BO: After digging, my hands are covered with dirt. Everything is covered with dirt. A centipede was on me. That’s definitely the dirtiest I’ve been so far.

 

WYG: What is your favorite place in the garden?

BO: The pavilion, because it’s so shady. We also have lunch here, and can look out at the garden and see what we’ve done.

 

WYG: What is something you are looking forward to this summer?

BO: The building. It’s pretty cool using power tools.

 

WYG: If you could have any superpower, which would you have and why?

BO: Flying. I could get places on time. And flying through the air would be awesome.

 

WYG: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

BO: There's this river in Okinawa, Japan where they got houses by the river. I hear it has the freshest air. It would be awesome to live there.


Norie Wright is the Events and Communications Intern for the Washington Youth Garden and Friends of the National Arboretum.

Somewhere That’s Green: 10 Questions with Green Ambassador Michelle Chandler

Crystal Williams

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By: Norie Wright

This week’s featured Green Ambassador is Michelle Chandler. Michelle is a rising junior at The School Without Walls in Washington DC. Michelle’s interests include playing the piano, drawing, and gardening. This is her second year with the Green Ambassadors Program.


Washington Youth Garden: Why did you originally sign up for the Green Ambassador Program?

Michelle Chandler: I live in the area, and came here a lot with the SPROUT program. I thought it would be good to work here as a first summer job because I was familiar.

WYG: What has made you come back?

MC: It’s the same reason as why I did it in the first place. I also liked the supervisors, and I liked the kids. I want to keep going.

WYG: What do you bring to the table as a member of the Green Ambassadors?

MC: I can offer my experience and I try to keep it positive. Even though gardening can be annoying and dirty, I think my positivity will be helpful.

WYG: What skills have you learned from working in the Washington Youth Garden? What have you learned here that you think will benefit you in the future?

MC: I’m better at hard work and physical labor. I learned to use all the manual tools because of my age, so I have experience working with them.

WYG: What has been your favorite memory from your time spent here?

MC: I really liked going on the field trips. We once went to a farm in Maryland. It was rainy and muggy, but I liked the environment of the farm. And the dogs were cute. And there were sheep at the end. It made the bad weather worth it.

WYG: What will be the most challenging task for you as a Green Ambassador?

MC: Staying out in the heat. It's really hard not to take a break all the time. But if you do that, no work will get done, so you can't.

WYG: What is something you are looking forward to this summer?

MC: I know that this year’s field trips are going to be all different, so I'm excited to see the new things they have for us to do on the field trips.

WYG: If you could have any superpower, which would you have?

MC: Telekinesis, because that makes thing easier for you.

WYG: What is your favorite vegetable, fruit, or flower?

MC: I have one for all three. Pineapple, broccoli, and forget-me-nots.

WYG: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

MC: I want to live somewhere that's green like South America or New Zealand or something. I want it to be super chill and to have a lot of animals. And no city. I want to be in a really green space with big house.


Norie Wright is the Events and Communications Intern for the Washington Youth Garden and Friends of the National Arboretum.

Spring is Over, Summer Arrives at the Washington Youth Garden

Crystal Williams

By: Norie Wright

We had a really amazing Spring 2018 here at the Washington Youth Garden!

In the spring season alone, we harvested 275 pounds of fresh produce from our garden! These harvested fruits and veggies were all been donated to DC Central Kitchen, where they have been distributed around the city to help feed the hungry. This fresh produce will make a major difference in the lives of people who suffer from hunger all over the Washington DC Metro area.

In the world of SPROUT, over 2,200 students from all over the DC Metro area visited our garden between April and June. Our educators have been working hard at figure out ways SPROUT can be improved for the future. With the summer SPROUT season having begun, we can’t wait to see the smiling faces of eager students and have them see our SPROUT improvements.

The Green Ambassadors Program officially started on June 25th, with GAP Leaders training the week before. Farmer Jake has some fun activities planned for the Green Ambassadors this summer, including cooking, planting crops, visiting our school gardens and taking field trips to various growing operations across the area.

So much of the garden’s success this spring was a result of the contributions of our incredible volunteers, who have logged over 445 hours of volunteer service in the garden. The garden would truly be a different place without the volunteers, whether they help with SPROUT, Family Garden Day, or helping Farmer Jake and Farmer Robin maintain the garden. To all our volunteers, we say THANK YOU.

We can’t wait to move into the summer, with even more exciting plans waiting for us in the coming months. Make sure to visit the Washington Youth Garden during the summer to see what we have going on!


Norie Wright is the Events and Communications Intern for the Washington Youth Garden and Friends of the National Arboretum.