Urban Environmental Program in New England
Grants and Projects: Green/Open Space
Southside Community Land Trust
Youth Urban Gardening Education Initiative
Summary: Founded in 1981, The Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT) provides access to land, education, and other resources so people in Greater Providence can grow food using environmentally sustainable practices, and to create community food systems where locally produced, affordable, and healthy food is available to all. The "Youth Urban Gardening Education Initiative" project builds on successful 5-year partnerships between SCLT and 2 local elementary out-of-school time programs, adds the involvement of local high school for both out-of-school programming and water-use education, and capitalizes on the skills and interests of an Education Director particularly interested in helping extend learning and sharing within the Providence school system. The Youth Garden Club participants engage in structured, hands-on learning activities related to the design, construction, and care of on-site raised bed gardens. Specifically, this project seeks to create, implement, and disseminate hands-on educational curricula designed for use by other schools interested in Youth Garden Clubs, including developing age-appropriate tools for high school students, and a set of materials useable by schools already taking part in field trips at their working farm; Install, as another means of promoting understanding of water issues and demonstrate the feasibility of low-cost water systems, rain barrels at all three community garden sites. The project expects to increase public participation in understanding and addressing prevention of risks associated with pesticides, lead-contaminated souls, and water conservation; and the importance and practicalities of transforming unused urban land, including schoolyards into safe, productive food gardens.
Measurable Results: Creation, implementation and evaluation of a hands-on food growing curricula; Creation, implementation and evaluation of 4 age-appropriate lesson plans for field trips; Establishment of regular programs to involve more parents and neighborhood residents; Assist area high school in establishing its own urban food growing program
Partners: YMCA of Greater Providence, Feinstein High School