Governance Board Recruitment

Governance Board Recruitment

We are seeking to expand our Governance Board from 8 to 14. We welcome people of all backgrounds and geographies and look forward to bringing new perspectives to our leadership. 

Learn More

View our Virtual Town Hall for more information on our Strategic Plan and the Governance Board recruitment process. Find an archive of this event at

Contact Tristana Pirkl, Network Director, who can answer any questions or set up an informational 1-1 call with our current leadership:


We are seeking to expand our Governance Board from 8 to 14. We welcome people of all backgrounds and geographies based in the U.S. and look forward to bringing new perspectives to our leadership. 

Our Mission

Created in 2012, the SGSO Network is an open, peer-to-peer learning network with the goal of elevating, growing, and sustaining a movement for equitable garden-based education. We provide professional and leadership development, resources, and platforms to connect for members serving at a school, district, regional, state, or national level.Currently, our network consists of over 4,200 individuals representing more than 2,000 organizations or schools that support over 100,000 gardens.

Our Vision and Values

We value accessible, open communication that encourages collaboration, networking, and the cross-pollination of ideas. We thrive on transparency, open-source sharing, when possible, and mutual support. We intentionally seek out ways to make our organization, resources, and the experience of school gardening accessible to all children and communities. We are committed to building an equitable movement and organization— one that strives for inclusion and justice, acknowledges and celebrates diversity and strives to bring this lens to all of our work.

What We Do

The SGSO Network advances its mission through:

  • In Person Gatherings, including the annual Leadership Institute and upcoming 2022 Summit
  • Webinars and Virtual Gatherings
  • Moderated Online Forum
  • Compiling “Promising Practices” resources
  • Acting as a platform to share the news, events, and information for the network 

New Developments for our Network

As a primarily volunteer-driven organization, the SGSO Network has made great strides in advancing peer-to-peer learning within the school garden movement and is now poised and ready to do more. In February, we hired our first staff position, a Network Director, and in July, we completed a four-month strategic planning process. Learn more about our Strategic Plan on our About Us page. 

The Governance Board will be instrumental in working with the Network Director to implement the goals and initiatives outlined in the inaugural strategic plan.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

As indicated in our Values above and laid out in our Strategic Plan, the Network seeks to improve the ways in which it centers justice, anti-racism, and equity in all of the work that we do. This includes, but is not limited to, increasing the inclusivity and subsequent diversity in the racial, cultural, geographic, and personal identification makeup of our leadership, including our Governance Board. We recognize that this is a never ending process and a journey through which we will improve as we go. We seek to be aware of our areas for growth and transparent in our process. We welcome those of all backgrounds and geographies who are interested in joining us in this journey.

How We Operate

As we develop and set up our structure, the Network will be comprised of the following components:

  • Members: membership is free and open to any individual or entity that seeks to benefit
  • Staff: currently a staff of one, the Network is facilitated by the Network Director
  • Governance Board: 14 members who will meet monthly to oversee the Network and support the staff
  • Action Groups: groups of various sizes, purposes and timelines assembled to accomplish specific goals and projects for the Network as a whole. The structure will vary for these groups depending on their objectives.  

The Position

The Board will support the work of the SGSO Network and provide purpose-driven leadership and strategic governance. While day-to-day operations are led by the Network Director, the regular board responsibilities will include:

  • Leadership, governance, and oversight 
  • Commitment of a minimum of five hours per month, including monthly virtual board meetings. Monthly board meetings are usually held during working hours Monday-Friday. 
  • Serving on at least one Action Group and taking on special project assignments in support of the Strategic Plan (included in five hour monthly commitment) 
  • Serving as a trusted advisor and resource to the Network Director
  • Approving the SGSO’s annual budget and financial needs
  • Being informed of and meeting all legal and fiduciary responsibilities once incorporated as a 501c3
  • Regularly reviewing outcomes and metrics to evaluate the Network’s impact and effectiveness
  • Representing the Network to stakeholders and acting as an ambassador for the Network 
  • Ensuring the Network’s commitment to an equitable, just, inclusive and diverse board, staff and programming that reflects the communities that the Network serves.

Board Terms & Participation

  • Three-year term to be eligible for re-appointment for two additional terms
  • Remote but must be based in the United States 
  • Attendance at monthly board meetings – estimated to be 90 minutes
  • Participation is voluntary and not paid
  • Voluntary involvement in at least one Action Group – meeting frequency determined by the group in coordination with full board meetings 
  • Board members are not to use their service to their own financial benefit


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual who based in the United States, is passionate about the SGSO Network’s mission and has experience in the school garden movement.

Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:  

  • Experience with and passion for centering justice, anti-racism and equity in school garden work and organizational development
  • Passion to support the school garden movement aligned with their own current or past work 
  • Considerable knowledge about school gardens and what makes them successful
  • Experience in strategic planning or decision making; providing leadership, governance and oversight; and in cultivating relationships
  • Breadth of professional knowledge and experiences 
  • Experience or background in at least one of the following professional areas:
    • Gardening
    • Nutrition
    • In-School Education
    • Outdoor Education
    • Food access and distribution
  • Team-orientation with a penchant for collaboration and mutual support 
  • Desire to focus on the mission of the school garden movement over the promotion of any one organization 

How to Apply

Application closed on September 10.