Seeds: Growing farm-to-table education in Sacramento

Recently, ground was broken on a new outdoor classroom and amphitheater at the 55-acre farm on the American River Parkway in Rancho Cordova.Able to seat 200 people and accommodate crowds of up to 500, the new facility will create an oasis for learning about food, healthy eating and farming. | Read More

Outdoor Classroom will serve as region’s agricultural landmark

Public/private partnership advances American River Parkway Plan

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – August 27, 2012 – Agriculture is a proud part of the Sacramento region’s identity, and volunteers are determined to make it more relevant in the present and future.

The vision of providing experiential learning opportunities that promote urban agriculture, sustainable food systems and healthy food education – all in a beautifully designed outdoor classroom setting – is nearing its groundbreaking after successful fundraising and county and regional approvals.

The construction this summer of the intimate, open-air classroom will be used to facilitate youth and adult education at the 55-acre Soil Born Farms American River Ranch in Rancho Cordova.

The project is a partnership between Leadership Sacramento Class of 2012 (LS12) and Soil Born Farms. LS12 has been providing planning, designing and fundraising support – all on a volunteer basis – for construction of the outdoor classroom, which is slated for late summer and a grand opening event in October 2012. An artist rendition can be found on the project website: The project is still in need of funding and is accepting donations at the aforementioned website.

“As the stewards of this amazing community treasure, Soil Born Farms’ intention is to guide the restoration and development of the American River Ranch to serve the greater good and promote health in the region,” said Janet Zeller and Shawn Harrison, founders and co-directors of Soil Born Farms. “We are thrilled to partner with LS12 and receive support from a broad base of public and private stakeholders.”

The addition of the outdoor classroom will allow Soil Born to demonstrate and interpret the connections between food, health and the environment in a space that is accessible to the public, serving the community for years to come.

The project, which was approved by the Sacramento Board of Supervisors on May 22, complies with the American River Parkway Plan and has received support from the American River Parkway Advisory Committee and the Regional Parks Commission. Sacramento County Regional Parks was critical in developing a clear road map for project approval. It is a great example of a public/private partnership that Sacramento County has advocated for in recent years.

“The County is excited to move forward with this project and appreciates the work from LS12 and Soil Born Farms,” said Jeff Leatherman, director of Sacramento County Regional Parks.

“Partnerships continue to be a valuable tool for our Department to provide quality facilities and programs for our community to enjoy.  The open-air classroom will be an excellent addition to the American River Ranch.”

The Leadership Sacramento Class of 2012 chose Soil Born Farms as its class beneficiary to fulfill the community betterment portion of the year-long program.

“Our region, with its tremendous agricultural accessibility, culture and history, is unmatched in the state and nation,” said Josh Leachman, project manager for LS12. “By leveraging the broad and diverse backgrounds of our LS12 class, this outdoor classroom provides greater opportunity for our region to reconnect with the land and celebrate our agricultural abundance. In time, we hope people view it as one of our region’s agricultural landmarks.”

For more information, contact:
Shawn Harrison, Soil Born Farms |
Matt Notley, Ogilvy Public Relations | | 916-671-6764

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