ICF Center For Cross-Border Philanthropy

aka Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center   |   National City, CA   |  www.olivewoodgardens.org

Mission

The Mission of Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center is to connect and motivate students and families from diverse backgrounds through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education, empowering them to be healthy and active citizens. Our Vision is to reconnect students and families to the natural environment through food, education and community engagement.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Ms. Jen Nation

Main address

2525 N Avenue

National City, CA 91950 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-1640148

NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Parts of National City are considered a food desert, meaning resident have lack of access to healthy fruits and vegetables. National City also has a higher rate of type 2 diabetes and obesity than most of the county. Olivewood Gardens is working to provide access to nutrition education to youth, adults, ​and families to help combat these issues. Coupled with our 7-acre garden, we grow vegetables and fruit that help give people access that they are lacking and to demonstrate how to grow on their own. Our garden based nutrition education programs teach children and adults not just how to grow but also how to cook – and enjoy – tasty, healthy, whole foods. Our approach is unique because our programs are designed to involve all members of the community including children, parents, teachers, and new leaders.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Field Trips at Olivewood Gardens

Students and Families who visit Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center receive firsthand experience in our garden and/or kitchen. They learn to cook with locally grown, organic produce. They learn to plant, care for gardens, harvest, and compost all in a beautiful setting in National City, CA. These trips are intended for school groups, Scout troops, Rotary/Kiwanis Clubs, nonprofits, executive retreats, and large family groups. Field trips can be conducted in Spanish.

Population(s) Served

Cooking for SaludTM is a bilingual English and Spanish parent nutrition education and behavior modification program designed to teach parents how to make healthy changes at home that will improve their families’ short and long-term health outcomes. Cooking for SaludTM gives participants tools to change their cooking and eating habits, with guest chef volunteers and instruction centered around food and nutrition. Participation in this program requires a 7-week commitment.

Population(s) Served

This 14 week internship program for high school students focuses on leadership development and urban agriculture. Students spend time learning about environmental issues and develop and complete a community service project.

Population(s) Served

Students in both high school or college can learn skills in nutrition education, environmental stewardship or organic gardening. Each student is required to complete a project for their internship.

Population(s) Served

After graduating from the seven-week Cooking for Salud™ program, graduates become 'kitchenitas' and continue their journey to a healthier self by participating in ongoing programs.
These empowered women meet regularly to discuss topics relevant to their health and their communities, lead peer-to-peer health workshops in the community, support the local school district through a Kitchenistas School Wellness Coalition, and several have started food-related businesses in the community. We provide ongoing health education, parenting classes, public speaker trainings, leadership development, and more to help equip Kitchenistas with the tools needed to advocate and effect change in their community. The Kitchenistas program builds confidence and poise and sets women up for success as family and community leaders, entrepreneurs, and engaged citizens.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Orchid Award- Landscape Architecture "Engaging the People" 2010

San Diego Architecture Foundation

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Through three specific programs, Olivewood is looking to accomplish the goal of providing education and access to healthy choices to residents of National City and south bay communities.

Children’s Garden and Nutrition Education Program is designed to teach kids where their food comes from, how to make healthy choices, and to appreciate the outdoors. Students rotate through hands-on science, gardening, and nutrition lessons tied directly to Common Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards. We are creating adventurous eaters, engaged environmental stewards, and inquisitive young leaders.

Our parent nutrition education program is teaching parents how to make healthy changes at home that will improve their families’ short and long-term health outcomes. Cooking for Salud is a behavior modification program that gives families tools to change their cooking and eating habits, as well as transform the way they view food and health. This seven-week program teaches participants healthy techniques for preparing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and fats; while providing a safe and welcoming environment where they can share and grow within a cohort. Following completion of the program , graduates become 'kitchenistas' and continue to develop leadership skills and advocate for healthy food access and nutrition education throughout National City.

Through our 14-week high school volunteer and internship program, we teach valuable job training and leadership skills.

We use a wraparound approach to meet the needs of the community, including parent education, school field trips, family programs, and teacher training. We empower graduates of our 7-week Cooking for Salud program to provide peer-to-peer education to reinforce critical nutrition education.

We partner with the local National School District to provide an intensive field trip program for students at four schools with the ultimate goal that we will bring students from all ten schools in the district to our Gardens multiple times each year. We highlight age-appropriate, easy, wholesome recipes that feature seasonal produce and lessons are tied directly to the CA State Common Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards. Students are immersed in experiential science curriculum that connects environmental health and personal health and they see the relationship between protecting the earth and nutrition.

The Program incorporates these strategies:
- Multiple visits - Children visit the gardens multiple times each year and see the garden in different seasons, reinforcing lessons with repeated practice of observation, inquiry, gardening, and cooking.
- Hands-on activities – Students and their parents participate in experiential gardening classes, hands-on science lessons, and kitchen classes where they learn about nutrition while preparing and sharing healthy meals.
- The entire nutrient cycle – Students rotate through standards-based Science, Gardening, and Kitchen activities that connect nature with food and food with health.

We also provide a wrap-around approach, meaning our Cooking for Salud graduates, also known as 'kitcheinistas' go into the schools and lead parent presentations to reinforce skills and behaviors that students are learning at the garden. Parents have access to healthy recipes and get to meet other parents who have made healthy choices.

Cooking for Salud is a bilingual English and Spanish parent nutrition education, behavior modification program designed to teach parents how to make healthy changes at home that will improve their families’ short and long-term health outcomes. Cooking for Salud gives participants tools to change their cooking and eating habits, with guest chef volunteers and instruction centered around food and nutrition. Participation in this program requires a 7-week commitment. We ask that all participants attend every class, once a week for 3 hours. All program participants will also be asked to complete questionnaires about demographics, family history, and eating habits. Additional biometrics around health may be conducted in order for our organization to gather statistical data on the lasting impact of our program. When participants graduate, they become Kitchenistas and continue to be involved in a community of support that has the mission of expanding and sharing knowledge about healthy living.

Currently, we serve 1637 kids through our children's field trip each year, and we serve all fourth-graders from four National School District schools. We host three sessions of Cooking for Salud, our 7-week adult education class, and we host two 14-week high school Urban Agriculture internship. We also work with an additional 98 high school students annually through garden education and volunteer activities.

Over the eight years of our programs, we have served almost 10,000 students and had over 75,000 visits to Olivewood Gardens. We've seen results in how people think about food and their health. We currently have a waiting list of 200 adults to join our Cooking for Salud program and have multiple families returning annually for additional programming.

We hear from participants from our Cooking for Salud program​ who are taking less or no medicine for health issues as they were before the class and past participants who attend our program as volunteers so they can keep learning. With 200 kitchenistas, many of them meet monthly to share recipes, successes and challenges and to help build a healthier community. The kitcheninstas present healthy food demonstrations in the community and at all 10 local elementary schools to educate parents in regards to health and wellness. They have also formed a wellness coalition to work in partnership with the school district wellness committee.

Financials

ICF Center For Cross-Border Philanthropy
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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ICF Center For Cross-Border Philanthropy

Board of directors
as of 02/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Cathe Burnham

Self Employed

Term: 2017 - 2022


Board co-chair

Ms. Trish Watlington

Farm to Fork San Diego

Term: 2015 - 2021

Jacqueline Reynoso

Exec. Director, National City Chamber of Commerce

Dennis Doyle

Exec Director, COTA

Trish Watlington

Red Door & Wellington Steak and Martini Lounge

Cathe Burnham

Self Employed

Evelyn Wiggins

Attorney

Stephanie Jensen

Real Estate Agent, Keller Williams Realty

Anne McEnany

Exec Director, ICF

Susy Villegas

President, SVPR Communications

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No