UConn Extensionists Mary Ellen Welch, Jacqueline Kowalski, Jeantyl Norze and Heather Peracchio attended the National Urban Extension Conference at Rutgers Camden May 23-26. Educators and directors from across the country came together to share best practices in Extension and vision the future of Urban Extension. Norze led a presentation on “Academic Structure Versus Urban Extension Needs: Keep Tradition or Innovate” and Peracchio presented on “Reimagining Youth Nutrition Education and Teaching Outdoors During Covid-19”.
Norze and Peracchio had an opportunity to tour Philadelphia’s Common Market and view Myocopia Mushrooms growing practices. Common Market provides locally grown produce to Philadelphia’s highest need citizens where food access is limited. Myocopia Mushrooms grows a variety of unique mushrooms and sells them to restaurants and at local farmers markets. Kowalski toured Bartram Gardens, the oldest surviving botanical garden in the United States. This public garden is in Southwest Philly and is also the home of Sankofa Community Farm, a 3.5 community farm celebrating the agriculture of the African Diaspora. Additionally, the Gardens serve as an open green space in space in a formerly industrialized area of the city.