206 W 4th Street
Duluth, MN 55806
Kids Gardening is a program that offers weekly gardening activities throughout the summer to children from Kids Café, YWCA Girl Power, and Upward Bound. The Program Coordinator teaches children about soil and plant care, organic weed and pest control, and about nutritional values of fresh foods. The Program Coordinator also works on garden planning, soil preparation, and seed selection, and consults with other agency staff as needed over the summer to help ensure that the children have successful garden experiences.
An average of 57 kids participated in Kids Gardening in 2008. Our Kids Gardening programming reaches low-income kids: those most likely to suffer from poor nutrition, obesity, and related diseases such as early onset diabetes. (One in three children born in 2000 will be obese by the age of eighteen, according to Center for Disease Control. The rate for minorities will be even higher). They have limited exposure to fresh produce and gardening education. They are often shocked to discover potatoes are grown from potatoes, not seeds, and even that potatoes are grown under ground. YWCA counselors report kids work better together as a team by the end of the summer, and enjoy eating the produce they grow, especially cucumbers and salsa. During the November 2008 election period participants in Kids Cafe voted broccoli their favorite fresh-from-the-garden food. The Kids Gardening Program also provides the benefits of exercise and connecting with nature: increasingly important in an age of growing electronic diversions such as video games and the Internet.