Gardens for Growing Community reconnects people and nature as a way for each to heal, grow, and flourish together. We train educators how to engage students with diverse backgrounds and capabilities in nature-based learning, offering strategies and resources that support academics and strengthen youth leadership, critical thinking and problem solving skills. We're connecting community by engaging veterans interested in urban and suburban agriculture, providing opportunities to develop a resume of job skills in return for their stewardship of the school gardens and natural venues utilized by educators and students.
We believe that when people learn to recognize, nurture and value what the earth has to offer they learn compassion for nature and for others, discovering healthy connections that will inspire them to create positive change in their own lives, as well as within their community.
− The youth we work with are typically considered “at-risk,”, i.e. low wealth, come from diverse backgrounds (high minority), often live in under-served neighborhoods, and are generally more familiar with urban settings than rural.
− The veterans we work with have typically been diagnosed with PTSD (some acute), and are working to heal through the use of Agri-therapy. Many are also striving to find a sense of place within and connection to their community, and to re-enter the workforce as civilians. This latter goal often requires completing secondary education and/or pursuing a whole new career that requires a set of job skills secured outside of their military experience.
− Our partnerships are generally with universities, large corporations, established and high profile nonprofits, and large foundations.