Schuyler CCE Garden-Based Learning (Horticulture and Local Foods Community Education)

Worksite Location
CCE Schuyler office at 323 Owego St; Montour Falls, NY
Project Dates
5/15/20 - 8/15/20
Faculty Sponsor
John Losey, Department of Entomology
Field Mentors/Supervisors
CCE Schuyler ; Brett Chedzoy, Sr. Resource Educator; Roger Ort, Horticulture and Local Foods Community Educator, and select Schuyler County Master Gardener Volunteers.
Stipend
$5,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Beneficial insects including predators that keep pests in check and pollinators that help plants make fruits and seeds are essential for healthy, productive gardens. The broad objectives of this project will be to work with a summer intern to develop and disseminate a diverse set of tools for gardeners, that will help them effectively release, and/or attract and sustain beneficial insects, especially one key group of predators, ladybugs. A particular focus will be nine-spotted ladybug, our New York state insect that is listed as a “species of greatest conservation concern” by the NYDEC. In addition to release of ladybugs, best practices for attracting and sustaining ladybugs through provision of preferred plant species, and the utilization of “ladybug food” and “ladybug houses” will be evaluated. This project will build on the success of a summer internship program from 2017 and complement efforts of an ongoing Smith-Lever project. This project will address the growing Interest in gardening throughout New York working through CCE to explore the most innovative avenues through which to educate and inspire citizens. Demonstration Gardens have proven to be successful arenas for a number of types of learning opportunities. Schuyler CCE has identified the need for continuing a strengthened approach to a local demonstration garden as a way to help hundreds of local residents learn more about horticulture, and area educators learn from our success. The summer intern will, 1) educate adult and youth gardeners on how to release and attract more ladybugs and other beneficial insects to their gardens through garden events, workshops, garden tours, 2) cultivate communication skills among our Master Gardeners to facilitate youth engagement in ladybug garden projects 3) plant, maintain, and assess a ladybug habitat at the CCE Schuyler Teaching Garden. To support these activities, the intern will write articles on the LLP and beneficial in the landscape for sending to media outlets and produce educational flyers and handouts developed for the teaching garden and beyond. Finally, the intern will share the results of the approach through diverse documentation which will include a web-based success story, to be distributed through CCE News and the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Blog; and potentially host a regional workshop to share with other CCE educators. For more information on the Schuyler CCE Teaching Garden, visit: http://schuyler.cce.cornell.edu/gardening

Roles and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the collaborators listed above, the intern will: participate in a preparation session; Present live tours or open-gardens to educate about ladybug-friendly management. Our intern will Conduct nine-spot ladybug releases to Maximize pest control; we will provide educational materials on design and management of gardens to attract and maintain ladybugs and what to plant; develop and deliver targeted educational programs for both youth and adult audiences (Head Start, ARC, WIC ,PINS Diversion and 4-H) at the Teaching Garden with guidance in intentionally adapting LLP and CGBL curricula; create, enhance, and lead activities which support the maintenance of the garden; work with LLP scientists; observe how volunteers are developed, supervised and rewarded, and work with educators to implement two volunteer trainings and gain experiences; monitor for pests; collect data in a variety of trials; report and share the results regionally and statewide to educate and inspire others.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

The candidate will need excellent written and oral communication skills. A genuine desire and documented interest in working with people and insects is necessary. S/he should be attentive to detail and should possess a general knowledge of, and enthusiasm for gardening and home food production; a desire to work with a variety of audiences; and an interest in, and the ability to perform, physical work in outdoor conditions

Benefits and Skills

Increased knowledge of CCE successful program development process; basic gardening and local food production experience; experience in applied entomology; volunteer development; and written and oral expression. Intern will gain significant experience in facilitating learning experiences for both adult and youth audiences in an outdoor classroom environment through the co-leadership of numerous classes and activities.