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Sarah Richards

Coffman Cove, AK, United States


Living in a place where 95% of our food is imported, we believe food sovereignty and environmental stewardship are topics that warrant as much consideration as reading, writing, and arithmetic. In Coffman Cove, Alaska, the school and community got together to create a vision for how our empty spaces could be used. We started by fencing in a 100′ x 100’ (10,000 square foot) area and started developing a greenhouse, chicken coop, composters, fruit trees, berry bushes, and potato beds. We also have an aquaponic greenhouse, which is similar to hydroponics, except it uses live fish as a more organic source of nutrients.

We have 25 chickens and 15 ducks and an observation beehive so we can learn about the importance of pollinators. We are in the process of building a duck pond and putting up bird feeder stations to encourage other birds to use this space. By growing our own food, we are also growing the health of our children, our economy, and our community, to create a wholesome space for teaching and learning.

Howard Valentine School Farm

AWARD WINNER: BirdSleuth Garden Grant WinnerAs part of our grant, we purchased supplies and held a "Grand Opening" event at our school farm. We had more than 40 volunteers come to help build potato beds, build a garden shed, and help us plant seeds and transplant seedlings. In this town of less than 200 people, this was a huge success.

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