ABOUT SONYA HARRIS

In the fall of 2013, Sonya gathered a group of teachers together to plan a garden at the Bullock School, which could be used as a space to teach students across the curriculum through gardening. She contacted Celebrity Landscaper Ahmed Hassan via social media for advice. Not only did he respond to her message a few hours later, he also advised her and her Bullock Garden Team on what was needed to establish a sustainable school garden. Ahmed connected Sonya with a local South Jersey landscape designer, Mike Pasquarello of Elite Landscaping in Berlin, NJ. Together, after almost a year of planning, partnerships with landscape and horticultural experts from across the country sponsored donations and fundraising efforts, the Bullock Elementary Children’s Garden became a reality the weekend of May 2-3, 2015.

In October 2016, Sonya & Bullock Garden was awarded the very first “Best in New Jersey” Jersey Fresh Farm-to-School Award by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for her drive in ensuring that the Bullock Children’s Garden serves as a tool for assisting teachers in teaching children across the curriculum through garden education, provides free, fresh, organic produce to the local community (helping to eliminate a food desert) and for partnering with several organizations and green industry leaders to ensure successful learning opportunities for the Bullock Elementary students. She speaks to audiences of educators and Green Industry professionals, promoting the benefits of gardening with children and creating school gardens.

She loves spending time gardening at home and with the children in the school garden. Sonya is also currently leading the expansion of the garden education initiative throughout the Glassboro School District and with the Borough of Glassboro to increase sustainability awareness and Green initiatives. She is currently mentoring several New Jersey schools to assist them in creating school gardens and incorporate garden education throughout their curriculum. Gardening is her new-found passion, which she blogs about at .

In 2017 Sonya established the nonprofit The Bullock Garden Project, Inc. The role of this nonprofit is to assist schools serving large populations of students who are at-risk, receiving special education services, and/or low-income and food insecurity with establishing and implementing school gardens. She has won several awards, including the most recent awards: New Jersey Agricultural Society’s Learning Through Gardening 2018 Teacher of the Year, and Project Green Schools 2018 Outstanding Green Education Program Director.

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