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Youth Gardening

kids watch as adult pulls cabbage from a school garden
Pulaski County students learn about growing vegetables in their school garden.

Gardening is a great hands on activity at any age. It's never too early to introduce a child the wonders of gardening.  The classroom is right outside your door. 

Gardening does not have to be on a grand scale. It is best when beginning a garden to start small. It is easy to add to the garden and make improvements after having success. From school gardens to community gardens, youth gardening is a positive hands on activity to engage kids in an outdoor setting.

Arkansas Extension has hosted two youth gardening conferences in the past few years.  If you would like to be on the mailing list for the youth conference, send your contact information to  Julie Treat. 

Junior Master Gardener Program

The Junior Master Gardener Program is a national program that focuses on curriculum for grades 3 to 8.  

If making plantable greeting cards, discovering the world of worms, and creating your own spider webs sounds interesting, the Junior Master Gardener® program is for you! Modeled after the extremely successful Master Gardener program, the JMG® program offers horticultural and environmental science education, in addition to leadership and life skills, through activities that are both creative and fun. The JMG® program currently offers programs for grades three through eight, and is developing to include youth from preschool to 12th grade, and is available to groups in multiple arenas, such as school, community, and 4-H clubs. The JMG® program gives young people the opportunity to contribute to their community, school and family by helping them become good gardeners as well as good citizens. ® 
 
Getting started is usually the difficult part in any project. However, the JMG® program offers resources to help from the very beginning. Groups can contact the JMG® headquarters and receive help with curriculum and program development. After the program is starts, JMG® headquarters will continue to assist the new program by offering program management information, assisting in securing financial resources, and recognition. In addition, the tools available to registered groups are so informative and helpful that prior knowledge of gardening is not necessary. For example, the Teacher/Leader handbook provides eight instructional chapters followed by a diverse selection of group projects from which to choose. If you are interested and would like more information, contact Berni Kurz or Julie Treat at (501) 671-2231.

Learn more about the Junior Master Gardener program.
 

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