GreenStar Partners with Ithaca Children’s Garden

By Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

childrensgardenHow do Ithacans grow smart, strong, and healthy kids? With the Ithaca Children's Garden, of course! That is why GreenStar has partnered with ICG in a wide assortment of ongoing initiatives over the next four years. We have chosen ICG as a partner because of their history of teaching kids about the environment and their ongoing commitment to teaching kids about growing and eating healthy, sustainable food. "Everything we do at the Ithaca Children's Garden is done with one goal in mind: To inspire the next generation of environmental stewards," they say on their website. "We know the best way to do that is to get more children outside, with hands-on experiences, having fun in the natural world."

This is clearly aligned with GreenStar's Vision Statement in which "We envision a world that reveres the earth and the web of life it supports, where our choices are guided by stewardship, sustainability, and social justice."

This alignment was already enough of a reason to work with ICG, but when they decided to further their commitment to teaching kids how to grow and eat healthy food by building an outdoor kitchen we decided it was time to join forces as the ICG/GreenStar Partnership for Healthy Kids.

The partnership will allow the Ithaca Children's Garden to provision the new outdoor kitchen with pots, pans, and cooking supplies, plant the 50'x120' edible teaching and learning gardens, supply ICG's Organic Salad Farmers program with organic seed and growing medium, and stock the "pantry" for their garden chefs programs and camps with locally grown, high quality, GreenStar-purchased foodstuffs. The partnership will also make five need-based camp scholarships available.

The partnership will sustain the Edible Eco-Garden for four entire growing seasons and give valuable financial support to the Ithaca Children's Garden in carrying out important food gardening education for the benefit of the entire community. "One of the most unique aspects of what the Ithaca Children's Garden offers," says Executive Director Erin Marteal, "is an urban public garden in our city that is there for everyone. It is meant to benefit the entire community, with a major focus on the youngest generations."

As another aspect of the partnership, last month, during school break, GreenStar hosted the afternoon, indoor half of ICG's Winter Play Lab at our new Classrooms @ GreenStar. The kids chased chickens, explored electricity's relationship with the potato, and made and used their own plant dyes.

Just as ICG will make use of the Classrooms @ GreenStar during the winter months, we will be taking advantage of the Children's Garden as well as the outdoor kitchen during the summer months. Expect to hear more about GreenStar's new summer programming at ICG as the days get warmer.

Speaking of summer, the children will be making use of the outdoor kitchen during ICG's Summer Camp 2014, which will take place from June 30 to August 29. With topics like "Garden Magic, Fairies, Elves and Potions," "Garden Explorers, Habitat Mania,"' and "Nature's Play Corps: Swings, Pulleys, Slacklines," fun and learning are sure to go hand in muddy little hand. Registration is also open for the summer camps and as noted, GreenStar has sponsored five needs-based scholarships.

We will also support ICG as part of our 12 Days of Earth Day Celebration in April. This year, GreenStar is rolling out a new reusable bag program. We call it "Take a Bag, Use it for Good." The idea is that any time you use a reusable bag at checkout we will give you a "wooden nickel" that can be placed in one of three donation boxes. The Ithaca Children's Garden will be one of our first three organizations that will benefit from this new program aimed at reducing our business's environmental impact.

The co-op is again sponsoring an obstacle in the 2014 Tough Turtle race, which will take place on April 19. GreenStar is once again fielding a ten-person team, The GreenStar Killer Tomatoes, and are expected to again prove that healthy living works by tearing up the track. The friendly competition is a lot of fun, is family friendly, and all proceeds go to the Children's Garden. Registration is open at Spaces are filling up fast!

All across the co-op world, we are faced with a reality: our memberships are slowly aging! We need young people to take up the torch of health and cooperation. The ICG/GreenStar Partnership for Healthy Kids helps accomplish just that, growing values we cherish while growing healthy food and healthy habits.

"We see our role as supporting their natural curiosity, and providing a strong message that children matter," says Marteal. "Simply speaking, healthy kids and a healthy environment go hand in glove, and we are working hard to support both! And we're positively thrilled to have GreenStar join us in this work, through a true commitment to quality of life for our community and youngest generations!

  • 04.10.15

    By Dan Hoffman,
Council Member

    2013 Dan Hoffman12th Moon, Kristen Kaplan, Eric Banford, Susan Beckley, Jessica Rossi and Mark Darling finished the counting in just under four hours.

    412 Total valid envelopes

    21 total invalid = 19- no ID, 1- first of two ballots, 1- no ballot in envelope

    Also = 1- name tag, 5- 2 cent slips, 1- Member Labor Request and two wooden nickles.

    Two thirds vote required to pass.

    Q#1 = PASS

    361 YES,

    12 NO

    Q#2 = FAIL

    222 YES,

    147 NO

    Q#3 = PASS

    311 YES,

    61 NO

    Q#4 = PASS

    331 YES,

    22 NO

    Q#5 = PASS

    340 YES,

    30 NO

    Q#6 = PASS

    366 YES,

    7 NO

    GreenStar member-owners are the only ones who have the power to change the Co-op's bylaws, the organization's most basic and important document. There is an opportunity to do so (or not) during this month — at the Fall Member Meeting, at the stores, or by mail.

    GreenStar's Council has established an ad hoc Bylaws Review Committee, which started meeting again earlier this year, after being inactive for at least two years. Council had referred a couple of issues to the committee, which identified several more on its own. In August, Council voted (unanimously, except in the case of #2, below) to send the committee's six recommended bylaws amendments to the membership for a YES or NO vote on each of the following questions:

    1. Should the Co-op be allowed to use a withdrawing member's refundable equity contribution [which could be up to $90] to pay off any outstanding debt the member has to the Co-op (such as for bad checks)?

    2. Should all Council candidates and members be required to satisfy any requirements associated with operational licenses maintained or sought by the Co-op (such as to sell or serve alcohol)?

    3. Should Council be allowed to conduct closed executive sessions for two additional topics — possible litigation or contract negotiations?

    4. Should the composition of Council's Immediacies Committee be changed to match that described in Council policy, and that of the Executive Planning Committee?

    5. Should the use of gender-specific pronouns (such as "he" or "she") be eliminated in the bylaws?

    6. Should three "clerical errors" made when the bylaws were amended in 2010 be officially corrected?

    Much more information on the proposed amendments, including detailed explanations, pro and con statements and voting instructions, are available in the Fall Member Mailing, which all current members should receive in the mail by October 6. Members can vote up until close of business on Oct. 31 at either store, by mailing in the ballot from the Mailing, or in person at the Fall Member Meeting, on Friday, Oct. 16, at the Space.



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Membership Manager

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    The morning after our Fall Member Meeting, I'm entranced by the experience of last night. I realize how far GreenStar has come over the years, and how integral and essential a partner we are in the wider regional food movement before us. Our roots as a buying club and grain store have matured into a multimillion-dollar community-ba...



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