Karen Washington, a 2008 Apprenticeship graduate, has lived in New York City all her life, and has been a resident of the Bronx for over 22 years. Since 1985 Karen has been a community activist, striving to make the Bronx a better place to live. As a community gardener, Karen has worked with neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens, as an advocate, she has stood up and spoken out for garden protection and preservation, as a City Farms Trainer, she has helped people all over the city grow more food and build healthier neighborhoods, and as a member of the La Familia Verde Garden Coalition, she launched a City Farms Market, bringing garden grown and farm fresh vegetables to her neighbors. In 2010 Karen received the Medal of Honor for her work with urban gardens in the Bronx.
Karen is on the teaching staff of Farm School NYC , a program that aims to provide comprehensive professional training in urban agriculture for NYC residents, in order to increase the self-reliance of communities and inspire positive local action around issues of food access and social, economic, and racial justice.
A number of other Apprenticeship grads are also taking part in the Farm School NYC program, including Jane Hodge (class of 2010), who directs the program; Ursula Chanse (class of ’00), the New York Botanical Garden’s Bronx GreenUp program; Deborah Greig (’07), East New York Farms!; Molly Culver (’08), Bk Farmyards; and Bee Ayer (’09), Bk Farmyards. Maggie Cheney (’09) was a field trip host at Four Winds Farm, where she was the assistant farm manager. Upcoming Farm School NYC apprenticeship sites will include Heritage Farm at Snug Harbor, where August Jones, former CASFS apprentice (’10), is the farm manager.
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