Sunflower Hill Gardens Programs
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Sunflower Hill Gardens at Hagemann Ranch began operations in April 2015. Over the last year, we’ve developed programs for a number of high school transition classes as well as programs for adult day community classes. We work with individuals with a wide spectrum of abilities, and our programs address a broad set of objectives. We are actively working to expand our program as we are continuing to develop the gardens and our infrastructure. This program is modeled, in part, after the Alice Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Program in Berkeley, CA, and after Bittersweet Farms in Ohio and focuses on three main objectives, Horticulture knowledge, Life Skills and Healthy Quality of Life.
Special Needs Classes & Adult Day Programs
Special Education Post-Secondary Transition (PST) programs and Adult Day Programs are welcome in the garden on a regular basis on a weekday morning, most commonly coming once per week.
Regularly attending groups and programs from the Tri-Valley area have included, High School & Adult Transition Programs from Livermore Granada, Pleasanton Foothill, Dublin Valley, and Amador, and the RES Danville Adult Day Program.
“Sunflower Hill Garden has been an amazing opportunity for my students. It’s rare for my students to find a job that is so meaningful and full of new possibilities. The students have planted seeds, harvested their crop and literally enjoyed the fruits of their labor. The time they spend at Sunflower Hill fills them with pride in their work and teaches them new skills/ activities each week. The volunteers at SFHG understand the needs of each student. They provide individualized experiences that challenge and engage them as well as provide support when necessary. I have been a special education teacher for over 20 years and can honestly say that SFHG has been the most rewarding vocational site for my students.” – Laura Droppo, Dublin Valley High School Transition Program Teacher
“The garden program has provided our students with an amazing opportunity. Within the program, my students have learned all of the steps necessary to start their own garden. They have learned how to care for plants that are just beginning to sprout harvesting, composting, and turning the soil to get ready for the next plants. Our students love this opportunity and could not without the help of Chris Bogert and Lynn Monica’s countless hours, curriculum and support.” (By Chrissy Booe, Granada Adult Transition Education Teacher & Special Education Department Lead)
“Sunflower Hill Garden provides valuable learning experiences for my students through hands-on activities and projects that build greater understanding and appreciation for agriculture, science, and nutrition. The students look forward to Fridays at Sunflower Hill because they connect with the staff members and each task they do. They are proud of the work they do and look forward to discovering each new learning opportunities that are in store for them.” – Paige Giglio, Foothill High School Transition Program Teacher
“One of the main reasons why Sunflower Hill Garden is a great place for participants to volunteer is the ability for them to learn about giving back to the community through the food they help grow goes to feed others in need”. (By Sandie Shields, RES Community Based Danville Adult Day Program Manager)
Typical Day Flow of Activities
A typical morning in the garden for a class/group (attending 90-120 mins) works through the following activities: opening circle/group introduction; major work/field activity; closing snack and debrief. Contact our Gardens Team for more specifics on the schedule.
Visiting Staff Expectations
Visiting staff (teachers and aides) serve as a critical component to the success of the experience. We rely on staff to coach and support individual ranchers with their task as well as as assist SFH personnel with individual communication needs.
For More Information or to Bring a Group
If you would like to get additional information about our programs and/or are interesting in bringing a group to SFH Gardens, please email us at [email protected].