Highland Youth Garden
The Highland Youth Garden began in February 2009 as two recreation centers closed in our community. The recreation centers were two of the three places in the community where youth could be involved in positive activities. We began working with Highland Elementary School, Hilltop Primetime, and J. Ashburn plan for positive activities for the youth and the idea of a garden program was started. We are now in our fifth season and last year over 450 students participated in growing fresh produce and learning more about their environment.
The vision of the Highland Youth garden is to build a healthy community through gardening
and our mission is Enhancing the Hilltop through growing food and educating children and neighbors. The goals for the garden in 2014 include: expand educational activities for children in the community, start a non-traditional 4H program and to enhance partnership with other community gardens in the neighborhood.
The steering committee has been working with two neighborhood schools to provide curriculum that is aligned with the state science standards and to fit into the new STEM(science, technology, engineering and math) priority. Our goal is to have the majority of the 500 students in the schools in the garden at least once per week for active science lessons. We also provide an 8 week summer program for the Freedom School, J. Ashburn Youth Center, Dowd Education Center and 2 community preschools.
The community we serve is very diverse. The cultures represented in the garden include Somali, Latino, Cambodian and Appalachian. The area we are in is very economically depressed and has no place to purchase food other than corner stores. The garden is one of the very few places where families can find fresh food.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA