Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Next Generation

Since working with Urban Sprouts, I've had the opportunity to experience all types of projects, new garden design ideas & learning ways to involve community with our school gardens. I believe that these projects benefit greatly when youth are involved. Youth contribute fresh ideas and comic relief and add new dimensions to any project. Not only do projects benefit from having youth participate, but the kids themselves reap lasting rewards from the inclusion. These lasting rewards can include learning about plants, nature, and food, getting more exercise, and developing a stronger work ethic. I've witnessed some of my students feeling a sense of empowerment, when helping out with garden tasks.

Youth are often more open to a deep connection with nature than adults are, and I've found that my students often teach me more about the natural world than what I'm teaching them! Often youth who are included in community projects grow up to organize projects of their own, spreading ideas and resources into future generations. They can be the ambassadors of the plant world, helping us renew our conncetion with nautre and reminding us of the childlike mind we once enjoyed.

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