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Greater Newark Conservancy
FoodCorps Service Members at Newark Conservancy's Hawthorne Ave Farm crunching down on carrots they just harvested from their garden beds.

Greater Newark Conservancy

Our mission: Greater Newark Conservancy fosters collaboration in our community at the intersection of environmental, food, and racial justice to promote the health and well being of Newark residents. Our programs work to reverse the long history of systemic racism to improve social determinants of health by expanding access to green spaces, nutritious food, wellness education, and youth development.

Our vision: We envision Newark and its surrounding communities with universal and equitable access to nutritious food and a green, resilient, sustainable, and healthy urban environment for living, work, and recreation.

The Conservancy has two main locations in Newark: the Shipley Urban Environmental Center with our administrative offices, outdoor learning center gardens, and education building with a teaching kitchen; and the Hawthorne Avenue Farm, NJ’s largest urban farm. Newark is a dynamic, politically engaged city with rich history, diverse communities and amazing culture. To be in Newark in 2022 is to be in a place of tremendous change. Some of that change includes deluxe downtown developments and some includes an activist local urban agriculture and food justice movement. Newark is a place of young people, from the multiple universities and colleges in the city, as well as a place of involved elders who have stayed committed to making change in the city and improving the lives of all. Newark students are avid learners eager for the hands-on opportunities that garden and food education offer.

Each of our FoodCorps service members will be assigned to serve in 2 Newark Public Schools and spend a majority of their time leading curricularly-aligned hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens in collaboration with classroom teachers, conducting schoolwide taste tests in cafeterias that feature local and Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, and promoting a schoolwide culture of health by participating in family engagement activities and after-school events. One of the most exciting aspects of service for our FoodCorps members is planning and leading our popular Fall and Spring Harvest Festivals at each school we partner with! Fall and Spring Festivals feature school pumpkin patches (in the fall) and seed starting activities (in the spring), seasonal taste tests, hands-on outdoor educational activities, and we invite many of our city-wide partners to table and lead activities with students and their families throughout the day. They are truly a blast for everyone involved! FoodCorps service members at GNC will work alongside teachers, school leaders and school nutrition/food services staff to strengthen connections between classrooms, cafeterias and school gardens.

In collaboration with GNC staff and our vast network of local partners, service members will also work towards connecting Newark Board of Education Schools to the thriving Newark food justice and urban grower community to promote food access both in schools and at home. FoodCorps service members at GNC serve the following Newark public schools: Hawthorne Ave, Harriet Tubman, Lincoln, Mt. Vernon, McKinley, Avon Ave, 13th Avenue, and Chancellor. The Conservancy hosts events throughout the year for community gardeners and families at our farm and Urban Environmental Center. Service members lend powerful support to these activities and enjoy connecting to the community in service beyond the schools they serve. Our FoodCorps service members are part of the Greater Newark Conservancy family and are deeply embedded with the rest of our staff and in all aspects of the work we do.

“What I really loved the most was making a real connection with all my students. I’ve been able to watch many of my students grow over the past year and a half, and seeing their excitement and passion for trying new foods and getting out to garden is amazing! I never taught children before my service with FoodCorps, but with all the support from my state team and service site at Greater Newark Conservancy, I was set up for success and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I had since I started serving in 2020.” -Current service member, Patrick

Our 4 FoodCorps service members at Greater Newark Conservancy are part of the New Jersey/New York cohort that includes 16 members with 7 sites across 8 communities in New Jersey and New York City. Don’t be fooled by what you may have heard from the haters: New Jersey is a state with a heaping spoonful of love, a dash of attitude, and a heavy sprinkle of everything nature has to offer: gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic Ocean (AKA ‘the shore’), hiking opportunities from the Appalachian Trail in the north to the Pine Barrens in the south, flourishing urban spaces with every kind of cuisine and art form known to planet earth, and rolling farmland stretching for as far as the eye can see. Situated between two major cities – New York and Philadelphia – New Jersey is aptly named the Garden State and home to nearly 10,000 urban and rural farms producing over 100 crops enjoyed nationwide! Connecting New Jersey kids to local agriculture reinforces our agricultural roots, economy, and unites communities with a shared vision of improving child health and wellbeing. Like New Jersey itself, our service sites reflect a broad diversity of culture and geography. Too many New Jersey residents experience health disparities as a result of decades of systemic racism, and service members mainly serve in communities with the highest rates of food insecurity. In partnership with our network of service sites, we strive to positively impact the ways New Jersey children experience food in school by using a variety of action-driven and scientifically-backed farm to school efforts including promoting local procurement and student voice and choice in cafeterias, leading hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens, and by supporting our community partners to foster the culture of health that’s right for them within each unique school building we serve across the state. Our full New Jersey/New York Cohort meets regularly throughout the year for state-based trainings with local leaders, growers and organizers to set our service members up for success for their 1-2 years of service. During the first month of service, members research and present on the place-based histories and current context of the communities we serve; are introduced to a wide variety of food justice and farm to school stakeholders at the state and local levels; practice active learning by planning and leading culturally relevant classroom lessons, garden activities and taste tests with their fellow service members before entering their schools; spend ample time cooking and sharing meals together, learning from each other, and building community as a cohort (AKA ‘cohort bonding’), and orienting themselves at their sites throughout August prior to the first day of school in September—all of which is necessary to serve our communities intentionally, respectfully and from a Community Assets Based Approach. Additionally, our service members participate in a wide variety of national, state, and site-based professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year that are necessary for our New Jersey/New York service members to advance in their chosen careers following their 1-2 years of service.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Able to work as part of a team and independently when necessary
  • Be able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time
  • Have strong and positive communication skills.
  • Ability to see the big picture in addition to the smaller steps we need to take along the road to get there is incredibly important
  • Community organizing
  • Project management
  • Youth development
  • Teaching (especially experiential education)
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Outdoor education
  • Natural history/science interest
  • Social justice work
  • Food systems understanding
  • Social media communications
  • Most important skills are a sense of humor, flexibility, resilience, and commitment to systemic change over the long haul

Our mission: Greater Newark Conservancy fosters collaboration in our community at the intersection of environmental, food, and racial justice to promote the health and well being of Newark residents. Our programs work to reverse the long history of systemic racism to improve social determinants of health by expanding access to green spaces, nutritious food, wellness education, and youth development.

Our vision: We envision Newark and its surrounding communities with universal and equitable access to nutritious food and a green, resilient, sustainable, and healthy urban environment for living, work, and recreation.

The Conservancy has two main locations in Newark: the Shipley Urban Environmental Center with our administrative offices, outdoor learning center gardens, and education building with a teaching kitchen; and the Hawthorne Avenue Farm, NJ’s largest urban farm. Newark is a dynamic, politically engaged city with rich history, diverse communities and amazing culture. To be in Newark in 2022 is to be in a place of tremendous change. Some of that change includes deluxe downtown developments and some includes an activist local urban agriculture and food justice movement. Newark is a place of young people, from the multiple universities and colleges in the city, as well as a place of involved elders who have stayed committed to making change in the city and improving the lives of all. Newark students are avid learners eager for the hands-on opportunities that garden and food education offer.

Each of our FoodCorps service members will be assigned to serve in 2 Newark Public Schools and spend a majority of their time leading curricularly-aligned hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens in collaboration with classroom teachers, conducting schoolwide taste tests in cafeterias that feature local and Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables, and promoting a schoolwide culture of health by participating in family engagement activities and after-school events. One of the most exciting aspects of service for our FoodCorps members is planning and leading our popular Fall and Spring Harvest Festivals at each school we partner with! Fall and Spring Festivals feature school pumpkin patches (in the fall) and seed starting activities (in the spring), seasonal taste tests, hands-on outdoor educational activities, and we invite many of our city-wide partners to table and lead activities with students and their families throughout the day. They are truly a blast for everyone involved! FoodCorps service members at GNC will work alongside teachers, school leaders and school nutrition/food services staff to strengthen connections between classrooms, cafeterias and school gardens.

In collaboration with GNC staff and our vast network of local partners, service members will also work towards connecting Newark Board of Education Schools to the thriving Newark food justice and urban grower community to promote food access both in schools and at home. FoodCorps service members at GNC serve the following Newark public schools: Hawthorne Ave, Harriet Tubman, Lincoln, Mt. Vernon, McKinley, Avon Ave, 13th Avenue, and Chancellor. The Conservancy hosts events throughout the year for community gardeners and families at our farm and Urban Environmental Center. Service members lend powerful support to these activities and enjoy connecting to the community in service beyond the schools they serve. Our FoodCorps service members are part of the Greater Newark Conservancy family and are deeply embedded with the rest of our staff and in all aspects of the work we do.

“What I really loved the most was making a real connection with all my students. I’ve been able to watch many of my students grow over the past year and a half, and seeing their excitement and passion for trying new foods and getting out to garden is amazing! I never taught children before my service with FoodCorps, but with all the support from my state team and service site at Greater Newark Conservancy, I was set up for success and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I had since I started serving in 2020.” -Current service member, Patrick

Our 4 FoodCorps service members at Greater Newark Conservancy are part of the New Jersey/New York cohort that includes 16 members with 7 sites across 8 communities in New Jersey and New York City. Don’t be fooled by what you may have heard from the haters: New Jersey is a state with a heaping spoonful of love, a dash of attitude, and a heavy sprinkle of everything nature has to offer: gorgeous beaches along the Atlantic Ocean (AKA ‘the shore’), hiking opportunities from the Appalachian Trail in the north to the Pine Barrens in the south, flourishing urban spaces with every kind of cuisine and art form known to planet earth, and rolling farmland stretching for as far as the eye can see. Situated between two major cities – New York and Philadelphia – New Jersey is aptly named the Garden State and home to nearly 10,000 urban and rural farms producing over 100 crops enjoyed nationwide! Connecting New Jersey kids to local agriculture reinforces our agricultural roots, economy, and unites communities with a shared vision of improving child health and wellbeing. Like New Jersey itself, our service sites reflect a broad diversity of culture and geography. Too many New Jersey residents experience health disparities as a result of decades of systemic racism, and service members mainly serve in communities with the highest rates of food insecurity. In partnership with our network of service sites, we strive to positively impact the ways New Jersey children experience food in school by using a variety of action-driven and scientifically-backed farm to school efforts including promoting local procurement and student voice and choice in cafeterias, leading hands-on lessons in classrooms and school gardens, and by supporting our community partners to foster the culture of health that’s right for them within each unique school building we serve across the state. Our full New Jersey/New York Cohort meets regularly throughout the year for state-based trainings with local leaders, growers and organizers to set our service members up for success for their 1-2 years of service. During the first month of service, members research and present on the place-based histories and current context of the communities we serve; are introduced to a wide variety of food justice and farm to school stakeholders at the state and local levels; practice active learning by planning and leading culturally relevant classroom lessons, garden activities and taste tests with their fellow service members before entering their schools; spend ample time cooking and sharing meals together, learning from each other, and building community as a cohort (AKA ‘cohort bonding’), and orienting themselves at their sites throughout August prior to the first day of school in September—all of which is necessary to serve our communities intentionally, respectfully and from a Community Assets Based Approach. Additionally, our service members participate in a wide variety of national, state, and site-based professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year that are necessary for our New Jersey/New York service members to advance in their chosen careers following their 1-2 years of service.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Able to work as part of a team and independently when necessary
  • Be able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time
  • Have strong and positive communication skills.
  • Ability to see the big picture in addition to the smaller steps we need to take along the road to get there is incredibly important
  • Community organizing
  • Project management
  • Youth development
  • Teaching (especially experiential education)
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Outdoor education
  • Natural history/science interest
  • Social justice work
  • Food systems understanding
  • Social media communications
  • Most important skills are a sense of humor, flexibility, resilience, and commitment to systemic change over the long haul