Why Youth Gardens?

Children and youth are a highly valued audience of the GROW campaign. They are the future, not just of gardening, but of life itself. Gardening benefits kids' health and well-being, their attitudes towards learning and the environment, their connections to community, and so much more. Just ask teachers and youth leaders what grows in kids'gardens:

Health

"The Garden of Eatin' Project is a Childhood Obesity Prevention Project - and it works. If they grow vegetables, they eat them! It is our belief that if a child takes care of a garden they will learn to enjoy eating the fruits of their labor - for the rest of their lives."
David Haskell
North Bay Children's Center, Novato, CA

Environmental Awareness

"Our students now see themselves as stewards of their environment. They have grown to have a sense of respect and care for all living creatures, even the ones that live under rocks."
Chuck Lafferty
Longstreth Elementary, Philadelphia, PA

Love for Learning

"Our gardening project provides an enriching hands-on experience that cannot be replicated in the classroom. Seeing students have excitement for learning is what we strive for as teachers. The garden has accomplished this goal.
Sergio de Alba, Teacher
R. M. Miano Elementary, Los Banos, CA

Academic, Social, and Life Skills

"Exploring and solving real-world problems through hands-on exploration is essential. In the garden, students learn to work cooperatively with others, practice patience, and feel pride in their accomplishments. Through hands-on application of skills, they internalize academic concepts and come to understand why they need to learn them."
Kathy Robinson
Lake Country Elementary, Lake Placid, FL

Community Resilience

"Our garden has been a great addition to our urban community! The garden fills a piece of land once known for drug activity. A church group cleaned it up, planted flowers and mended the fence. Participating youth made important plant-to-food connections; many had never worked in a garden before. Community gardeners interact with youth, helping them learn best gardening practices. To keep the area well-tended, a kind neighbor mows the surrounding lawn. The landlord of the abutting property donates his water source, making watering significantly easier and eliminating our water bill. Other neighbors, enthusiastic about the garden, often drop by to socialize."
Elizabeth Skafish
Hawthorne Community Center, IN

Quotes collected from NGA's School Garden Registry and grant winners.

Making the Case for Kids' Gardens

Gardening benefits the whole child:

  • Gardening offers active and engaging connections to academics, from science and math to nutrition and literacy.
  • Students remember information better when they design experiments, use more than one style of learning, and can share their newfound knowledge with others.
  • Gardening captures kids' interest, teaches them nurturing skills, gives them a sense of pride in their accomplishments, introduces them to healthful foods, and provides a way to improve and give back to the community.
  • Research indicates that children who spend time outdoors in natural, green spaces have reduced symptoms of attention-deficit disorder and ADHD.

For more data and research in support youth gardening, visit the Partnership for Plant-Based Learning »

Get Involved

Help NGA give more kids the chance to benefit through gardening. Make a donation or adopt a school garden.

Educators

NGA and its GROW Campaign partners provide the following opportunities and resources to help you grow kids in the garden. It's the most important cultivation you'll ever do.

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