Mary Bates is a retired first grade teacher who taught at the Jackson Street School for 17 years. She and other colleagues created the first school garden program in Northampton in 2009, with the goals of environmental learning, place-based outdoor education, and healthy eating. She also was the Garden Coordinator for the Outdoor Garden Classroom Program for the four Northampton elementary schools from 2014-2019. Mary has worked with Grow Food Northampton since 2013, through the Farm to School partnership with the Northampton Public Schools and the District’s Outdoor Garden Classroom program. She is a GFN volunteer, and joined the Grow Food Northampton board in 2021.
“I am inspired by GFN’s work and collaboration with the Northampton Public Schools (farm field trips! cooking classes for kids!), the Northampton Survival Center, and other local organizations to support farmers and community members in the areas of sustainable farming and food access.”