Youth Gardening

ContainerGardeningThere’s no doubt that the popularity of youth gardening is growing.  Why are we excited about this at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension?  Because gardening benefits the whole child!! 

AgriLife Extension in Travis County prioritizes youth development, and we put A LOT OF ENERGY into youth gardening.  Capital 4H runs afterschool gardening programs in more than 15 Title I schools.  The Master Gardener Youth Team works with Sustainable Food Center to provide wrap-around training, resources, and mentorship to school garden programs in Travis County.  Please enjoy our links, and stay posted for future school gardening resources and services.

Connect with the appropriate organization for in-person help in the following areas:

  • AgriLife Extension – Horticulture / Travis County Master Gardeners:
    • IMG_1502Consultation about Junior Master Gardener (JMG) curricula options;
    • JMG gardening activities at Extension and community events;
    • Free spent coffee grounds (incredible soil amendment) through Ground to Ground;
    • Broccoli to Butterflies School Garden Templates;
    • Master Gardener Horticulture Hotline – call with any gardening question – (512) 854-9600 Monday – Friday;
    • Master Gardener speakers available to present a variety of horticulture topics (such as rain water harvesting, composting, vegetable gardening, etc.) to school gardening teams for free.  Send request to  TravisMGYouthGardening @ gmail.com at least one month in advance.  Include date and time of requested presentation, club name, and topic of interest in your request.
    • Master Gardener Plant Clinics – volunteers provide gardening information and answer questions at school plant sales and garden events.  Contact TravisMGPlantClinics @ gmail.com
    • COMING Soon: Garden site assessment and seasonal garden mentorship.

 

  • Sustainable Food Center:
    • School Garden Leadership Training & Community Garden Leadership Training (free workshops);
    • Developing a strategic plan, budget, and school gardening team;
    • Sharing funding opportunities and giving letters of support;
    • Assistance gaining Austin Independent School District approval & support;
    • Free seeds, seedlings, and compost through the Spread the Harvest program.
    • Downloadable Sprouting Healthy Kids classroom lessons and after school activity guide.
    • SFC publication The School Farm ($15) gives a wonderful overview of developing a successful school gardening program.   For Central Texans interested in starting a youth gardening program, this is a great resource.

 

  • Central Texas School Garden Network (CTSGN):
    A listserv/google group for anyone affiliated with school gardens. Members of this group include school staff, school admin, school-based organizations, community partner organizations, parents, community members, and more! This group is used as a way to share information and resources with one another related to school gardening in Austin/Central Texas. This is a great place to ask questions about school gardening and to connect with other school garden coordinators in town.  http://groups.google.com/group/centraltxschoolgardennetwork

 

  • Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin (CiNCA) :
    The mission is to ignite and fan the flames of the regional movement to reconnect kids to the wonder and joy of the natural world and to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards. To achieve this, the CiNCA brings together schools, service providers, state and local government officials and members of the community with a stake in developing children who are happier, healthier and smarter as a result of being connected to nature and concepts of sustainability on a regular basis.  The CiNCA provides a venue for these stakeholder groups to come together and share and seek resources collectively, collaborate more effectively and streamline programmatic efforts.    http://westcave.org/cinca