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Re: Statistics on successful youth gardening programs

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Statistics on successful youth gardening programs
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 11:41:47 EDT
  • Content-language: en


Statistics are hard to come by, however these are some programs that you can 
contact directly to inquire about stats, trade war stories, find wheels that 
have been invented. Also, many Master Gardener Programs have youth 
enterprise/youth at risk counciling programs. You may want to search through them for 
leads.  Who knows? Maybe your local extension's Master Gardener program has some 
folks who have been engaged in this difficult but rewarding work:  

1) Youth at Risk Grow-Lab Program 

Grow-Lab Program 
Camden Children's Garden
Camden City Garden Club
3 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ 08103
Tel: 856-365-8733
Fax: 856-365-9750 
Url: http://www.camdenchildrensgarden.org/grolab.html 

Program Type: 
Violence prevention through sports/recreation activities involving gardening. 

Target Population: 
At-risk youths K-8. 

Classrooms and community youth organizations in Camden, New Jersey. 

Project Startup Date: 
Fiscal year 1991. 

Information Source: 
Provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Annual Budget: 

Sources of Funding: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, local government groups, and private 

Program Description: 
Located in southern New Jersey, Camden is one of the poorest cities in the 
country and is consistently ranked the third or fourth most distressed city in 
the United States. This program continues to establish GrowLabs in the 
classrooms and at community youth organizations throughout the city of Camden. The 
program also assists existing sites to maintain GrowLab projects. The program 
serves approximately 2,300 school children in the City of Camden and 
approximately 2,200 more throughout South Jersey. 

Several partners are involved with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of 
Camden County in this effort. The Camden City Garden Club, Inc., a nonprofit 
corporation; the city of Camden; the Camden County Department of Parks and 
Environmental Affairs; and the county of Camden round out this effective consortium of 
public and private agencies that have worked to make community gardening and 
the YAR Grow-Lab Programs a successful reality. 

2) Youth Gardening Programs Continue to 'Grow' in Popularity

ARDMORE, Okla. — During the 1990s, the number of U.S. children participating 
in organized gardening programs increased dramatically, and Noble Foundation 
horticulturist Steve Upson says the trend continues today.

Why all the interest in youth gardening? Because more and more public and 
private organizations that work with young people are discovering the power of 
gardening to grow positive and productive people. 

"Kids benefit from gardening in many ways. Nurturing plants from seed to 
harvest can lead to increased feelings of confidence, self-esteem and pride. In 
the garden, kids learn to cooperate and solve problems together," Upson says. 
"They learn about the interdependency of all living things and their roles as 
caretakers of the earth. Gardening offers a hands-on approach to learning, 
making it easier for many students to master skills and concepts involving math, 
reading and writing." 

Gardening promotes physical health and is a valuable vehicle for teaching 
lessons about food and nutrition. An entrepreneurial spirit is engendered in kids 
who participate in market gardening programs in which they have the 
opportunity to sell what they grow. 

"Last but not least, gardening instills an appreciation for agriculture and 
its importance in providing food and fiber for a growing world population," he 

Upson has had the opportunity to assist with the design and implementation of 
several youth garden projects in Oklahoma, and has experienced firsthand the 
value of these programs. 

One such project is the Community Bootstrap Garden, operated by the Martin 
Luther King Outreach Center in Ardmore, Okla. This gardening program offers 
summer employment opportunities for area young people. The mission of the 
Bootstrap Garden is to foster the development of a work ethic, self-esteem, 
citizenship, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit among at-risk youth through 
involvement in all aspects of growing and marketing high-value crops. 

"Said another way, participants don't just grow plants — they grow 
character," Upson says. 

The Chickasaw Nation Community Garden located in Ada, Okla., is modeled after 
Ardmore's Bootstrap Garden. In existence for less than a year, the garden 
provides employment opportunities for area youth. Produce is sold to the general 
public and is used in the Chickasaw Nutrition Program.

Numerous school-sponsored garden programs currently operate in Oklahoma. 
These gardens range in size and sophistication, depending on the number of 
participating students and the goals and objectives of the faculty. Perhaps you have 
a child, or know of a child, involved in such a program. 

"The most critical component of any youth gardening program is supervision. I 
am aware of several youth gardens that are no longer functioning because of a 
lack of supervision," Upson says. "If you enjoy gardening and care about 
young people, consider volunteering your time at a local school or summer 
gardening program. Your participation will be sincerely appreciated."

If you are interested in learning more about youth gardening opportunities, 
need assistance organizing a youth garden or need help designing a youth 
garden, call Upson at (580) 223-5810. 

"Remember, kids are like gardens — they tend to grow on you," Upson says. 


The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, headquartered in Ardmore, Okla., is a 
non-profit organization conducting agricultural, forage biotechnological, and 
plant biology research; providing grants to numerous non-profit charitable, 
educational and health organizations; and assisting farmers and ranchers through 
educational and consultative agricultural programs. 

To learn more, visit the Noble Foundation Web site at http://www.noble.org. 

3) Lucy K. Brandley's "Miracle Garden" in Maricopa, AZ <A 
HREF="http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/youth/mirgdold.htm";>Miracle Garden</A>

4) Master Gardener programs in many states usually have some good souls who 
work with at-risk youth. Here is a link to the Oregon State program:  <A 
Mst. Gdn. Impact</A> . This paragraph looks interesting: 

" For the past two summers, Master Gardeners in Marion County worked with 
at-risk teenagers in the "World of Work" employment program. Under the guidance 
of Master Gardeners, urban teens learned life and job skills while growing, 
tending, and harvesting a community demonstration garden" 

You may want to persue this further with 
Ann Marie VanderZanden
State Master Gardener Program Coordinator
College of Agricultural Sciences
Oregon State University
email: vanderza@bcc.orst.edu  

5) A Mississippi Youth Gardening Program for Youth in a Military Type 
program: <A HREF="http://msucares.com/news/print/lgnews/lg00/001023lt.htm";>
Mastergardeners /Youth Boot Camp</A>

<< Subj:     [cg] Statistics on successful youth gardening programs
 Date:  8/26/03 11:38:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time
 From:  deborah@greencure.org (Deborah Mills)
 Sender:    community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
 To:    community_garden@mallorn.com
 Hello everyone,
 It's been a busy this year and even though I haven't participated on the
 list server too much I have enjoyed the conversation. It's kind-of like an
 old friend always showing up when you need them the most.
 Now we finally have a few $$'s to move forward with the CSA farm project at
 our new Juvenile Justice Center (JJC) in Ventura County, California. Of
 course we are going after additional money and we need a few statistics to
 help us obtain our goals. What I am looking for is the positive results that
 gardening programs have on youth-at-risk. I'm sure I have seen some
 direction before on this list server but my mind can be like a sieve at
 Any help and guidance would greatly be appreciated. Thank you all in
 Deborah Mills
 Green Cure
 ________________________ >>

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