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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.

 

Helping the Community: 10 Questions with Green Ambassador Damion Covington

Crystal Williams

By: Norie Wright

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This week marks the beginning of the 2018 Green Ambassadors Program. The Green Ambassadors Program is a 6-week summer high school internship located at the Washington Youth Garden.  Interns will learn how to garden, prepare and eat healthy produce, while also visiting and learning about other green organizations and the jobs they offer. They will also lead student garden field trips, participate in structured communication skills training, and experience an incredible outdoor summer. 

In addition to GAP starting this week, we will be starting a new weekly blog post where we interview a member of the Green Ambassadors Program to get to know who they are.

This week, we spoke to Damion Covington. Damion is a member of the class of 2019 at Roosevelt Senior High School. Damion’s interests include sports, art, and gardening. He also has a passion for helping the community. This is his second year participating in the Green Ambassador Program.


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

Damion Covington: I grew up in the area, and I’ve been coming here since I was a kid. Because of that, I found an interest in gardening, and I like helping the community.

 

WYG: Why did you return to GAP?

DC: It helped me a lot with communication and team building. If I learning so much in one year, I thought “Why not come back and learn more?”. I think it will also help develop skills I can use in my life.

 

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

DC: Since I was here last year, I can help the leaders and relieve their stress. I have a feel of how things should go from last year, and I can bring it into this year and help new people.

 

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

DC: At the end of the program, we had a small competition. It showed us that at the end of a hard working summer, it was okay to relax and play. It was really fun.

 

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

DC: Moving past how hot it will be. If we keep complaining about the heat, we’ll spend all day doing the work in the heat. We’ll get nothing done. If we don’t complain, we can get the work done quicker and get out of the heat!

 

WYG: What is your favorite thing to do in the garden?

DC: Cooking. We get to just chill and relax. It helps after a long week of work to just get into a weekend mood.

 

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

DC: Going to different schools and helping out in the community and being in areas that need help.

 

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

DC: Super speed, because it would make my job way easier in life. I just need to be quicker.

 

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

DC:  I have one for each. Cauliflower, strawberry, and rose.

 

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

DC:  Either San Francisco or Los Angeles, because of the weather. Also, there are more opportunities out there.


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