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Episode 25 – Moses Thompson & Carly Pierson: Rooted in Community – UA School Garden Workshop

April 2023


The School Garden Workshop (SGW) is an immensely impactful program in the University of Arizona and Tucson Unified School District communities… as well as throughout the city of Tucson and greater southern Arizona region. School gardens can be powerful educational tools. SGW enables teachers to tap into their students’ energy and curiosity through integrating active, hands-on lessons in conventional academic subjects, like math, science, and language arts. Equally important as conventional and practice-based learning spaces, school gardens foster cooperation, autonomy, and social justice. In this conversation, we hear more from Moses and Carly about SGW and some of the myriad ways the gardens affect the next generation of learners.

Moses Thompson is the Director of the University of Arizona School Garden Workshop (SGW). In 2006, Moses helped found the nationally recognized Manzo Ecology Program as a facet of his school counseling program utilizing the therapeutic nature of gardening to help meet the social and emotional needs of his students. Carly Pierson is SGW’s K-12 Curriculum Specialist and a Certified Environmental Educator through Arizona Association of Environmental Education.

Hosted by Taylor Miller; post-production and edition by Carlos Quintero.

Notes and Resources

   Official website, University of Arizona
   Pima County Library“School Gardens are Porwerful Connectors”
  School Garden Workshop Sonoran Desert Almanac Video
  The Association Between Duration of School Garden Exposure and Self-Reported Learning and School Connectedness (2022) – PDF
  Sarah A. Moore, Jeffrey Wilson, Sarah Kelly-Richards & Sallie A. Marston. 2015. School Gardens as Sites for Forging Progressive Socioecological Futures. Annals of the Association of American  Geographers 105:2, 407-41
   UA Community and School Garden Program (Video). College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona
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