written by Katie Sisk

    GROW Local South Texas’ mission is to create a healthy community by growing the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable foods. This mission is for everyone of all ages in the community, not only adults. Youth are very important in creating a healthy community as well as a thriving local food system, and their involvement helps them to be healthy and to thrive as well. Throughout the year, we have many creative and fun ways for youth of all ages to get involved and make a difference!

    Involving your kids, youth groups, and schools in the local food movement can ingrain healthy habits. For instance, an All-Hands On-Deck day at the Learning Garden at Tom Graham Park not only teaches youth how to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs, but also how to work together to reach a goal. Children develop environmental awareness as well, through composting, respecting friendly pollinators, conserving water and building healthy soil. Additionally, knowing how to grow their own food or where they can access local food can increase knowledge of how to help others with widespread issues such as hunger and nutrition.

     

    So, involve your youth group or school in a service project that supports a healthy community and gives them something to be proud of. The next time you have a free Sunday, bring the whole family to the Learning Garden for regular hours or join the All-Hands On-Deck days that happen once a month. If you are part of a youth organization and would like to hold a service event dedicated to nutrition, local food security or sustainable agriculture, contact Grow Local South Texas about being a partner in Global Youth Service Day (April 20th-22nd). Or join us for one of our volunteer events like Earth Day Bay Day (April 7th) or our Neighborhood Garden Party (May 20th). Or, talk to GROW local to partner in a community service project. We can also work with your group to schedule a garden day for youth to both serve and learn.

    Here are a few important dates:

    February 18th: All-Hands On-Deck
    Reducing soil run-off around the park

    March 25th: All-Hands On-Deck
    Improving our Food Forest
    Sponsored by a grant from Seed Money

    April 7th: Earth Day Bay Day
    Outreach booth for Grow Local South Texas

    April 20th -22nd: Global Youth Service Day (GYSD)

    May 20th: Neighborhood Garden Party
    Educational presentations garden tours, music, food and children’s games