St. Petersburg, FL – The Edible Peace Patch Project, now in its 5th year, is expanding our organizational structure to better serve our constituents.
We are proud to announce that Sandra Gadsden, longtime editor of the Tampa Bay Times, will serve as the new Executive Director of the organization, with oversight for all aspects of the organization’s programs, budget, marketing, development and board and community relations. Sandra brings to the organization a wealth of non-profit experience, community resources, and managerial background.
Kip Curtis, Founder and previous Executive Director, will serve in the newly created position of Director of Education. Dr. Curtis will continue to focus on the most vital aspect of the organization’s work, learning opportunities for children and youth through the Schoolyard Garden and Wellness Kitchen programs.
The Peace Patch team is rounded out with three part-time staff: Pab Baker, our Garden Manager; Deb Hilbert, Garden Program Coordinator; and Emah Madegwa, Administrative Assistant.
The Peace Patch is on track with its business plan and poised to continue its innovative and successful work with the schoolchildren and youth on the Southside of St. Petersburg.
About The Edible Peace Patch Project:
The Edible Peace Patch Project (http://peacepatch.org) is a not for profit organization based in St. Petersburg that uses schoolyard educational gardens and food system intervention to address health and educational needs in St. Petersburg’s most at-risk public schools. The Peace Patch began in 2009 when a group of college students convinced their professor, Dr. Kip Curtis, to help them learn to grow food. In exchange he asked them to build their own classroom on the schoolyard of one of the most at-risk elementary schools in the county and offer standard-based lessons to the kids who visited them. Five years later, the Peace Patch is cultivating seven gardens, with plans to add another in the coming school year.
About Sandra Gadsden:
Sandra J. Gadsden was recently a Senior Web Editor and columnist at the Tampa Bay Times.
Her journalism career began at her hometown paper in Charleston at the Post & Courier, and continued at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. Sandra joined the Tampa Bay Times staff in July 1993 as a copy editor on the metro desk. In 1996 she was named news editor. For eight years she served as Neighborhood Times Editor and later as Assistant Metro Editor/columnist before joining tampabay.com.
Sandra has been active in the community by serving as a mentor/volunteer at Melrose Elementary and as a volunteer youth leader for the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ. She is a founding member of the Studio@620 and served on the board of directors for the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and Saturday Morning Market.
In 2012, Sandra was named a Woman of Distinction by the Gathering of Women Inc. for her work in the community. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists and Pi Sigma Epsilon. She’s also a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership St. Petersburg class of 2001. Later this fall, she will be inducted into South Carolina State University’s Hall of Fame.
About Kip Curtis:
Dr. Kip Curtis is the founder and first Executive Director of the Edible Peace Patch Project. The project was begun by Dr. Curtis at Lakewood Elementary School in 2009, and was incorporated as a 501c3 non-profit in 2011.
Dr. Curtis learned agriculture growing up on a sustainable farm in southeastern Massachusetts in the 1970s and 1980s. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental History from the University of Kansas, where he studied with the eminent environmental historian, Dr. Donald Worster. He is the author of many articles, reviews, and public presentations on environmental history and ethics; his first book, Gambling on Ore: The Nature of Metal Mining in the United States, 1860-1910, came out in 2013.
Dr. Curtis worked previously as the Director of Education for the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods in Lincoln, MA, and as Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College. He continues to teach courses in Environmental History for the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg.