Thriving Waters | Umpqua Valley Farm to School is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that began in 2010 as a community-building and revitalization effort in Glide, Oregon. When Tedy Fromdahl and the original board members created Thriving Waters, their vision was to deepen connections with nature, arts, education, and community. Much of the work encompassed gardening at the school, hosting Wildflower Runs, and keeping a focus on local health and well-being.
Seeing great need for these efforts beyond Glide, we began expanding our reach and impact in 2020–as Umpqua Valley Farm to School (UVF2S)–and now provide garden-based education, health and well-being lessons, and community agricultural support throughout Douglas County. We also help harvest and distribute fresh farm and garden produce to local families—recently delivering over 300 pounds of fruits and vegetables to students through a partnership with Glide and Roseburg School Districts.
“Everything was grown locally,” Erin Maidlow said. “The Phoenix Charter School has been donating about 200 pounds of vegetables a week to food banks, but they wanted to make sure families with kids in schools get these veggies.” (Read more)
School gardens have become a focal point of many Oregon school districts as well as around the country. Oregon has the largest Farm to School program in the county, with our state legislators allocating more funding than ever before to the program. Umpqua Valley Farm to School saw this as an opportunity to expand throughout the county, providing support to existing school gardens and assisting in expansion of new school gardens, as well as connecting with local farmers to promote the importance of sustainable agriculture and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in youth and families throughout the Umpqua Valley.
The mission of Umpqua Valley Farm to School would not be complete without addressing that as an organization, we are committed to offering inclusive and equitable services to the whole of our community. We recognize that not everyone has equal access to natural recreation areas, gardens, and healthy produce, and that this disparity is too often due to discrimination based on race, sexual orientation, gender, and/or social status. It is our goal to bring opportunities for healthy futures to those who are without them. Umpqua Valley Farm to School is dedicated to building a community that is inclusive, equitable, diverse, and healthy!
Umpqua Valley Farm to School is made possible with the support of: