URBAN CHILDREN'S GARDEN IN RESIDENCE
This summer urban outreach garden program serves about 200 children ranging from 5 to12 years of age. The program has three urban garden sites each summer. Kid-gardeners meet for one 2-hour session each week to learn from a staff that includes Arboretum instructors, community volunteers, and garden program graduates. In addition to planting and caring for their own garden patches, the children learn about science and nutrition. This program has been conducted in partnership with sponsoring neighborhood agencies for nearly 30 years throughout many locations within the Twin Cities metro area.
The Children's Garden in Residence Program works to increase children's knowledge of horticultural and science concepts, along with gardening skills. The children's greater awareness of how plants are interconnected with products from everyday life is a part of the program. To reinforce this concept children are given opportunities to prepare and eat fresh, nutritious snacks from the food they have grown.
- To provide a living laboratory for children to explore nature utilizing an age-specific curriculum that relates directly to the Minnesota Academic Science Standards.
- To offer children regular interaction with, and support from, caring and encouraging adults who are role models for positive behavior.
- To facilitate hands-on experience to increase children's knowledge of basic horticulture, plant science and entomology concepts and gardening skills.
- To enhance children's feelings of self-esteem, self-sufficiency and a connection to their neighborhoods.
- To increase children's awareness of the interconnectedness of plants with products from everyday life, including food.
- To offer opportunities for eating fresh, nutritious food and expanding personal food choices.