Morristown native Farmer Shaun Ananko, who has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to instill a love of nature for thousands of children of all ages at Grow It Green Morristown, was recognized this month with a prestigious national award for early environmental education.
The award was presented to him at the May 18, 2022, meeting of the Garden Club of Morristown, which championed Shaun for this award.
The Garden Club of America, as part of the Civic Improvement Committee, offers the award to individuals who provide outstanding education for our youth. The Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for Early Environmental Education was awarded to Shaun “to recognize an individual who, through working with children under 16 years of age in horticulture and the environment, has inspired their appreciation of the beauty and fragility of our planet.”
Farmer Shaun, director of agriculture and education for Grow It Green Morristown, has been essential in the creation and growth of Grow It Green’s ability to grow more, feed more and educate more children in the NJ community.
You can find him most often at The Urban Farm, where on one acre of land, he has for many years created positive memories, meeting each child where they are, sparking curiosity and exploration about plants and planet.
He encourages students to learn new skills and try new foods, while also demonstrating that the livelihood of the soil is only possible with a complete cycle of sustainable practices.
A lifelong learner himself, Farmer Shaun always is trying innovative methods to increase the health of the soil. He draws students in to learn about those new practices in order to inspire them to problem solve in order to care for our community.
Starting in late June, you can congratulate Farmer Shaun in person at the Urban Farm Stand on Saturdays. If you don’t know where it is–chances are that your kids do! Come enjoy the record amounts of fresh food that he and Farmer Marley are growing to increase food access in so many ways.
Environmental and farm-based education is an important enrichment for children, made possible by your support. Grow It Green is happy to welcome the kids back in person with our newest member of the Grow It Green team, Education and Garden Manager Jenna Karahalios!
You can help create these vital connections between food, nature and community with Shaun, Marley and Jenna by volunteering, donating and sharing about Grow It Green. Watch for an upcoming date to join Farmer Shaun and congratulate him in his favorite town, Morristown!