Burpee Announces Youth Garden Award
More than 500 applied and six were selected as winners of 2012 Youth Garden Award
There’s no doubt that vegetable gardening continues to grow in popularity and participation across the nation as Burpee Home Gardens announces the winners of the 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award. In its third year, the “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award received more than 500 applications double the amount received in 2011 from community and urban school gardens across the United States.
This year’s grand-prize winners are: Islands High School in Savannah, Ga.; P.S. 323 in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and The Village of Arts and Humanities in Philadelphia, Pa.
In addition, this year’s runner-up winners are: City of Houston WaterWorks Education Center in Humble, Texas; Urban Youth Impact in West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Pleasant Ridge School Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“The huge increase of applicants from nearly every state in the country shows just how widespread the youth and school gardening movement has become,” said Burcu Beba, brand manager, Burpee Home Gardens. “We are thoroughly impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication demonstrated in each application and are eager to support these young and novice gardeners as they get growing this spring.”
All winners will receive up to 500 vegetable and herb plants, including the Burpee BOOST collection, 5 gallons of Daniels Plant Food, one hose-end sprayer and a Flip VideoTM camera to document the garden’s progress throughout the year on the Burpee Home Gardens blog. In addition, grand-prize winners will receive $2,500 in garden supplies and on-site assistance for initial garden layout and installation from the experts at Burpee Home Gardens. All applicants will receive vegetable and flower seeds, as well as educational materials, to keep their gardens growing.
The 2012 “I Can Grow” Youth Garden Award assists established or start-up school and community gardens that demonstrate well-developed and staffed plans for youth-centered educational programs emphasizing nutrition and food production, environmental awareness, social responsibility and scholastic integration. Gardens for the following winners will be planted in spring 2012.
Islands High School: As a school with new ideas about experiential, hands-on learning, Islands High School in Savannah, Ga., will teach students how to grow their own food while working together and building teamwork skills. Serving 360 students in grades 9 to 12, the garden will be primarily maintained by the high school’s basic agriculture class and will be incorporated into science, art and English curriculum. The garden also will be used by adults and gardeners in the community who will learn basic horticultural practices during monthly meetings hosted by students.
P.S. 323: Committed to helping transform empty spaces into vibrant, food-producing gardens for schools and communities, the Student Farm Project will create the first school garden for P.S. 323 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Placed in the underserved Brownsville neighborhood where fresh produce is hard to come by and heart disease and diabetes statistics are among the highest in the city, the school and community garden will help inspire more than 500 students as well as community residents to become lifelong healthy eaters. One of the largest school gardens in New York City, the garden at P.S. 323 will be located on approximately 8,000 square feet.
The Village of Arts and Humanities: The Village Urban Farm in Philadelphia, Pa., will support the expansion of the youth urban farm, nutrition and environment programs to include an orchard, herb garden, 24 raised vegetable beds, rain-water catchments, a compost section and an environmental center outfitted with a commercial-grade kitchen. The urban farm will encourage environmental awareness, social responsibility, nutritional education and entrepreneurship skills of 120 students in grades 1 through 12 through partnerships with community members, university students, non-profit organizations and local businesses. Partnerships include those with John & Kira’s chocolate company, a local gourmet chocolatier committed to purchasing garden herbs, and Get Real Get Raw, a non-profit organization that offers nutrition classes and after-school snacks in exchange for fresh garden produce.
City of Houston WaterWorks Education Center: Increasing public awareness of practical gardening and irrigation techniques in Houston, Texas, the WaterWorks Community Garden has the potential to increase environmental awareness of more than 980,000 students in Houston-area school districts. With the addition of raised garden beds, the WaterWorks Education Center, currently including two rainwater harvest tanks, native plant garden, picnic tables and a watersmart demonstration area, will provide hands-on workshops for students and community members.
Urban Youth Impact: In an inner-city neighborhood with crime rates almost three times the national average, the Impact Garden in West Palm Beach, Fla., provides 130 student members of the Urban Youth Impact Leadership Academy, as well as the community, a relaxing and safe green space to enjoy. Founded in 2011, the 3,600-square-foot Impact Garden provides students in kindergarten through grade 12 the opportunity to learn gardening skills, enjoy nutritious food, and build entrepreneurial and business skills.
Pleasant Ridge School Foundation: By incorporating a garden into the Pleasant Ridge Montessori schoolyard in Cincinnati, Ohio, students will interact with nature through new adventure playscapes to complement existing playgrounds. By incorporating “field experience days” into the curriculum in place of expensive off-site fieldtrips, students can bring content from the classroom into their outdoor learning oasis. The hybrid school and community garden will benefit more than 580 students and countless community members that will enjoy access to healthy food and a variety of learning experiences, events and activities held in the garden.