An amazing journey lies ahead of me to travel through the United States of America on a mission to research all things green! I’m Sarah, I am one of this year’s Roosevelt Travelling Research Scholar’s (RTRS) from Nottingham, UK. My research is based largely around Urban Farms, Green School Education & Horticultural Therapy but I am without a doubt about to learn innovative new concepts that will grasp my attention.

During my scholarship, I want to meet with people who are doing it for themselves, taking action on climate change and sustainability in some of the world’s most developed cities. I want to learn from others forward thinking attitudes and manifested sustainable practises so that we can adopt similar back in my home city to provide a more sustainable future for Nottinghamshire. So who am I and what has led my to embark upon this scholarship?

I am the founder and co-director of Green Scene Education, a small Nottinghamshire based organisation that has been in operation for the past 5 years.  It is made up of myself and Anna Bond and together, we deliver horticultural and environmental education to inner city schools in Nottingham and its surrounding suburbs. Our work involves establishing school gardens and growing food for school kitchens and school communities. Whilst establishing school gardens we teach horticultural practises, environmental science and share the magic of nature with young people.

Horticulture also provides a fantastic platform for capturing the curriculum in a more accessible and achievable way. Our work aims to improve food security in areas of social deprivation as well as contributing to create more sustainable communities. The proven therapeutic benefits of horticulture have also contributed towards raised attendance and attainment levels in our pupils.

Aside from Green Scene Education, I also sit on the board for a small charity established by myself and Dr Heena Patel. Friends of Peacock Healthcare for which I am chairperson, is a charity based at my local, lifelong doctor’s surgery in Carlton, Nottingham that provides alternative and complementary healthcare alongside the NHS practises. We offer a network of activities for patients to be part of such as yoga, pilates, meditation, nutrition and horticultural therapy.

The reason for my travelling scholarship is  to strengthen my position in Nottingham’s existing green network. Embarking on the Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship will provide me with the opportunity to research, learn and share forward thinking ideology and sustainable practices from the USA who have lead the way in urban farming and horticultural therapy. During my 8 weeks in The States, I will be visiting many urban farms including Brooklyn Grange (NYC) and Greensgrow (Philadelphia), horticultural learning establishments, sustainable city communities, rooftop gardens, schools and prisons using horticulture as a learning tool and a therapeutic vehicle.

When returning to Nottingham, armed with new found knowledge, inspiration and heaps of passion, I plan to establish Nottingham’s first Urban Farm, hopefully up on the roof! I want to help communities grow, develop Green Scene Education’s existing service and put Nottingham on the map as one of the UK’s leading Green Cities!

I am on a mission and I hope you enjoy sharing that with me!