For nearly two decades, Arden Bucklin-Sporer was at the forefront of the Bay Area’s school garden and green schoolyard movement, and its effort to radically transform the way our urban public schoolchildren access and experience their local environment. Her early work as the founder and Executive Director of the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (2001-2011) helped unify the movement and was responsible for securing $14 million in city bond funding to build vibrant, eco-friendly gardens at schools in San Francisco Unified School District.
Arden co-founded Education Outside in 2011 – the first U.S. service corps dedicated to making garden-based science and environmental learning an integral part of the urban public education experience. Thanks to Education Outside’s corps members (full-time, on-the-ground outdoor educators who partner with schools for two years), 17,500 K-5 students in San Francisco and Redwood City – more than 65% of whom are low-income – had the opportunity to study nature and the environment outside, every week, in lush, sensory-rich outdoor classrooms.
Arden retired as Education Outside’s CEO in February of 2017 to manage her family farm in Sonoma, and enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 sons and various 4-footed creatures.