Columbia County: Youth Education

Master Gardener Associations all over the state do many great things.  Here is a highlight from the 2013 Annual Report:

Youth education is a separate category of volunteer hours for a very good reason: in today’s society, many children grow up without much access to nature, gardens, or wildlife. MGVs understand that we need to teach kids about horticulture and the environment if they are to value it in their lives. As a group, the Columbia Co. MGVs have attempted to increase and focus our efforts in youth education.

  • At the Lodi Schools, MGVs teach elementary youth in classrooms during the school year and in the school garden during summer school.
  • Volunteers used the micro-farm to teach students ranging from kindergarten to middle school, as well as a class of high school students with a developmental disability, how to grow greens in their classrooms during five-week long sessions. Because of the popularity of the micro-farm project, volunteers built a second unit this year, and reached approximately 190 youth. Students enjoy being able to eat their work, and for many this is their first time eating salad.
  • Our MGV group holds an annual “planting party” at a local greenhouse to help 4-H youth design and plant decorative containers for the county fair.
  • At the Cambria-Friesland elementary “Interest Day” students learned how to plant seeds, and the volunteer tied that into a presentation for the community at the library the same day.
  • MGVs taught young children and their parents how to plant seeds and how to work with transplants during a Portage library family event. Some MGVs also serve as 4-H flower project leaders.

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