And the 2013 Silver Trowel Goes to...
Slide Ranch, the nonprofit teaching farm in the Marin Headlands, has been providing Bay Area children and their families hands-on opportunities to learn about where our food comes from, as well as environmental stewardship, since the historic 134-acre dairy property was first protected in 1970.
Slide Ranch uses food—a subject near and dear to our hearts here at Edible Marin & Wine Country—as the organizing theme to teach about our connection to the sun, soil, water, air and people who work to feed us. Organic gardens, goats, sheep, chickens and ducks, along with numerous coastal trails, tide pools and pocket beaches, provide an ideal outdoor venue for teaching about healthy foods, healthy living and environmental awareness.
Of the nearly 8,000 visitors to Slide Ranch each year, 4,000 are youth who come as a part of its various school and community group programs; 60% of these children, aged prekindergarten through high school, are from socio-economically disadvantaged communities throughout the Bay Area. For many, this is their first, and perhaps only, opportunity to visit a farm—and the coast.
Of course, providing these critical services requires a substantial amount of money. Slide Ranch relies upon the support of foundations, corporations and individual donors to keep its programming accessible to a diverse array of participants. The Silver Trowel Award dinner, Slide Ranch’s major annual fundraising event, will take place on October 24. This year’s Silver Trowel will be awarded to L. Martin “Marty” Griffin, MD. A conservationist since the 1960s, Dr. Griffin was instrumental in the creation of Audubon Canyon Ranch and the preservation of sanctuaries on Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, Sonoma Creek and Point Reyes. (For more on the history of the creation of Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and other key Marin sanctuaries, we highly recommend the documentary film Rebels with a Cause. RebelsDocumentary.org)
The Silver Trowel Award dinner is always a wonderful community gathering, featuring many local purveyors and chefs, and the monies raised are critical to enabling Slide Ranch to continue its important work. For more information on Slide Ranch and to purchase tickets for the Silver Trowel Award dinner, visit SlideRanch.org.