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Schools in Lawrence or elsewhere in the area eventually could reap a bountiful harvest from a new community program taking shape for public lands owned by Lawrence and Douglas County.
The program, known as Common Ground, would make about a dozen sites available to be licensed for use by individuals, organizations, neighborhood groups or commercial growers to grow vegetables, herbs and other foods for personal consumption, commercial sale or community donations.
It’s that last part that spurred support Wednesday from Jim Flory, chairman of the Douglas County Commission, who said that he could see the county making two sites available through the program provided that licensees would agree to donate, say, 10 percent of their crops to food banks or local schools.
School districts certainly could benefit from the program, organizers say, either through educational efforts or direct donations of food to their cafeterias.
“Good food makes for happy kids,” said Rick Martin, who leads the culinary arts program at Eudora High School as is a member of the Douglas County Food Policy Council.
County commissioners affirmed their support for the program Wednesday, a day after Lawrence city commissioners had given their endorsement.
City-owned sites envisioned to be available for applicants seeking licenses:
• Burcham Park, 0.75 acre.
• Riverfront Park, four sites ranging from 6 to 20 acres.
• John Taylor Park, 0.5 acre.
• Burroughs Creek, 0.33 acre.
• Lot at North Iowa Street and Peterson Road, 1.25 acre.
• Vacant lot at 12th and Brook streets, 0.3 acre.
• North Eighth and Oak streets, 1 acre.
• 1305 Pa., 0.1 acre.
• 1314 Pa., 0.1 acre.
The Eudora school district is seeking nominations for Eudora Schools Teacher of the Year.
The award recognizes an “outstanding” certified teachers who excel in “content expertise, student success, innovation, and service to the profession.”
Nominations are due by Nov. 16, and letters and completed nomination forms will be reviewed by committees to determine which teachers advance. Anyone — district staff members, parents, students, alumni, community members pr anybody else — can nominate a teacher.
The awards are part of the state’s Kansas Teacher of the Year program. Candidates are nominated and then considered, first, at the building level. Each school building then forwards its selection for consideration for district awards in the spring: one at the elementary level, and another at the secondary level.
Send nominations to the district office, 1002 Elm, P.O. Box 500, Eudora, KS 66025.