The Youth Gardening Program (formerly Junior Master Gardeners) has been active in Hall County since 2006 and has reached hundreds of students. With a resurgence of interest in nature-related activities and science standards, new and renovated Outdoor Classrooms, school gardens, community gardens, butterfly and pollinator gardens, hands-on student participation has greatly increased. Expanding the classroom to the outdoors is providing new opportunities for our students.
All YG curricula includes independent and group learning experiences, life-skill and career exploration, service learning opportunities for youth and correlation to state teaching standards. Programs in Hall County are organized with a team consisting of Master Gardeners, teachers, parents and other volunteers. Each program is unique to its particular school or location. Some programs are included within the school day, some are after-school clubs and others may be on weekends. Flexibility is one hallmark of the program and allows for variation in garden size, garden shape, length of time spent gardening, plants grown in each garden and additional activities that are taught.
YG allows kids to get back to nature and experience the accomplishment that comes from preparing the soil, planting the seeds, weeding and watering, harvesting and then eating. In an age of electronics and media overload, YG is a simple way to reconnect children to the basics!