Salida School District
Since 2010, the Salida School District (SSD) has supported Farm to School, which began as the Salida School Garden Project, through collaboration, in-kind contributions and demonstrated commitment through improvements in their wellness policy. SSD leases the land to the garden project in exchange for half of the produce grown, up to 5,000 lbs, provides support for the land management around the garden site, and provides additional SSD staff time to process garden produce.
LiveWell Chaffee County
LiveWell Chaffee County (LWCC) has been an integral entity in this project since it’s inception. As one of their primary community efforts to support their mission to reduce obesity through healthy eating and active living, LWCC has worked strategically to help build the capacity of Guidestone and the SSD to ensure the long-term sustainability of the effort. In 2010, LWCC initiated a relationship with the Salida School District Wellness Committee to provide support in enhancing the district wellness policy. This work, along with results from LiveWell’s Healthy Food Access Assessment, prompted LWCC and partners to conduct a feasibility analysis for the development of a local food source that would secure fresh, healthy produce and encourage healthy eating for the district’s school meal program. In 2011, after a series of stakeholder meetings, project planning, and funder support, the original incarnation of Farm to School, the “Salida School Gardens: Healthy Food, Healthy Growing, Garden to Cafeteria Program,” was born. LWCC has continued to offer evaluation expertise, resources, and since the beginning of the project, and have provided financial and in-kind support.
Conservation Legacy/Southwest Conservation Corps
Guidestone and the Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) developed a strategic partnership to create an AgriCorps Youth program, which, when operating, met both organization’s missions by offering a rich employment and learning opportunity for local high-school age youth, while also meeting ongoing labor and maintenance needs of the Community & School Farm. AgriCorps played an invaluable role in the maintenance and labor at the farm over the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons!
Other organizations and businesses contributing ideas and time to this project include:
- The City of Salida
- Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation
- Colorado State University Extension
- Central Colorado Foodshed Alliance
- Colorado Mountain College
- Weathervane Farm
- Greater Arkansas River Nature Association
- Altamont Landscaping
- Salida Early Childhood Center
- Salida School District teachers, wellness committee members, administration, and school board members.