Randi Baird is a professional photographer and has been an international and community based activist for more than 30 years. While living in San Francisco she worked for the environmental organization, Greenpeace, photographing protests and political actions in and around the Pacific Rim including Japan, Russia + French Polynesia. She uses her photographs as a means for communication, education and political change in local communities. She assembles location, subject and creativity into strong visual images which has impact and value. Her images have been received worldwide attention thru distribution by Associated Press, United Press International and Agence France-Presse as well as national + regional print publications + web based media.
After moving to the island of Martha’s Vineyard Randi turned her focus on local issues of food and sustainability. In 2006 Randi co founded the non-profit organization Island Grown Initiative with the goal of increasing the supply and demand of locally grown food. She is presently a board member, coordinator for the Island Grown Bees + Pollination program and uses her photographic expertise to educate and communicate the goals of the organization.
About Island Grown Initiative (Martha’s Vineyard, MA): Island Grown Initiative started in 2007 with the intension of sustaining and supporting the local farming community on Martha’s Vineyard. IGI has since developed and created five distinct programs – Schools, Gleaning, Poultry, Bees, Apprentice and Farms.
IGIs Farm to School program a.k.a. Island Grown Schools was launched in 2008, recognizing that long-term food system change work needed to begin with children. Within 7 years Island Grown School program has moved from being an all-volunteer force to now having a part-time paid coordinator at each of our K-12 schools, one for our preschool program, two high school work study students and two pre-professional interns. We now have a curriculum of core units for every grade level: garden and agriculture-based lessons that tie to national and state teaching frameworks available to download free. We have a broad base of community members and island businesses whom contribute to the program with their time, their skills, and their finances to ensure that this work can continue over time.
Presently, Island Grown Schools, bring garden-based learning, healthy, locally grown food, and hands-on farm experiences to almost every school-aged child in our community. We work with all seven K-12 schools on the island and with six preschools, a total of 2,370 students from 2-18 years old. We have installed and support 13 school gardens and 3 school greenhouses, run 3 after school garden programs, donated over 15,000 pounds of local food to our schools, and led over 2,000 classroom lessons and more than 200 farm field trips.