This month we feature a member and environmental educator from central Kentucky who has a passion for making EE accessible for all. Christine Smith has been the Executive Director of Seedleaf since 2019, and prior to this position she was in charge of their amazing array of programming. Under her leadership, Seedleaf supports local schools and neighborhoods to make food research, gardening, and environmental science available for all ages and backgrounds. Read on to get to know Christine a bit better!
KAEE: Can you tell us a little more about your work in the field of EE and what particularly inspires you?
Christine: Seedleaf is a community gardening organization nourishing communities in Lexington, Kentucky. We manage 11 community garden spaces in addition to a two-acre community farm. I (obviously) love everything about Seedleaf but my favorite thing is being out in the gardens and getting a chance to meet neighbors–including inquisitive children who want to know what I am doing.
KAEE: What goals do you have for your organization or programs within the EE field?
Christine:Right now we are in year two of developing our FRESH program, Food Research and Environment Science for Highschool. We want this eight-week program to support school curriculum that the students are seeing while fostering a deep love of being outside and sustainable environmental stewardship of urban environments. We also hope that youth leave this program wanting to pursue environmental education in higher ed.
KAEE: What is an area you feel you could use support in from this network of fellow educators?
Christine: It would be great if there was an easier way of sharing quality resources–especially on mental and physical well-being of youth and how outdoor programming can help generate positive outcomes for still developing minds.
KAEE: Share a fun fact or random tidbit about yourself with the group!
Christine: I LOVE flowers but I am not a fan of sunflowers. I only plant them to attract goldfinches.
Preferred pronouns: She/Her/Hers