CITY SPROUTS: Youth Gardening is fun AND educational!
Many urban children in New Jersey had never seen vegetables grow, or the beauty of a butterfly garden or participated in the fun of digging in the earth and watching seedlings develop into food they could actually take home and eat. Through direct participation in a garden project, the children we work with are taught about health in a way that includes the health of their neighborhoods, communities, environment as well as the health of their bodies. They are taught that every ‘body’ needs clean air, water, soil and food to flourish, and that they can be actors and contributors in caring for themselves and their community. In the process they get to work outdoors, connect with nature, soak in the sun, and have stories read to them. They get to bring bags of tomatoes, collards and green beans home to their families and say they grew it themselves. And finally, they benefit from the one on one interaction with the caring City Green staff that supports their efforts, ideas and imaginations.
The City Sprouts Program is a gardening, environmental education and recreational program that provides children the opportunity to participate in gardening experiences; develop a deeper understanding of the natural environment; gain understanding of food systems and the importance of eating healthy foods; and have access to outdoor recreational activities in their own community.
The City Sprouts Program is implemented in partnership with community organizations, area summer recreation departments and summer camps. In addition City Green sponsors weekend “Family Fun Days” during the spring, summer and fall.