Green Teens Gardening Program at the Neighborhood Garden at Trackside
Wilton Youth Services, the Wilton Garden Club, and Trackside Teen Center are once again offering the Green Teens program for middle schoolers. The goals of the program are to get more young people involved with creating and maintaining vegetable gardens, to teach youth about the importance of healthy foods, and to give back to the community as the produce they grow will be donated to the Wilton Food Pantry.
Green Teens will be open to youth in grades 5-8. Led by experienced gardeners from the Wilton Garden Club, youth will participate in hands-on activities of designing garden beds, planting, maintaining, harvesting as well as learning how to cook with the produce grown in their gardens. The program will meet at the gardens at Trackside on Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00 pm starting in May and running through mid June. There will also be an opportunity for families and friends to work the gardens over the summer months. This will be a community service project for youth to earn service hours. There is no charge for the program. To register for the program, please visit www.trackside.org
Ann Collis, Sarah Gioffre and Pam Nobumoto are coordinating the Green Teens program for the Wilton Garden Club. The program is also being supported by Jim Hunter of the Wilton High School Organic Garden and Jonathan Kirschner of Ambler Farm. Both organizations will be donating seedlings to the program. Boy Scout Troop 20 will also be organizing the design, construction and installation of additional raised beds and compost bins.
The Neighborhood Garden at Trackside was originally built by Girl Scout Karina Olsen for her Girl Scout Gold Award project in 2011. She and other Wilton High School students grew vegetables and flowers at the garden for many years for the Wilton Food Pantry. In the spring of 2015, Steven Batter and Nicholas Johnson of Boy Scout Troop 20, designed, constructed, and installed new raised beds and a tool shed at the garden for their Eagle Scout projects. The Green Teens program was launched shortly thereafter with over 25 youth planting and tending the gardens in the spring and summer months producing several pounds of produce each week for the Wilton Food Pantry.
Nan Merolla of the Wilton Garden Club added: "We love Green Teens! The Wilton Garden Club is tremendously excited to be involved; we have a wealth of knowledge to share and can't wait to get digging with Green Teens. “
Below is the proposed schedule for the 2016 Green Teens Program:
5/4 Garden and tool shed cleanup; planting map, fruit and vegetable selection and garden design
5/11 Raised bed preparation, soil amendment and planting
5/18 Planting seeds & transplant donations from Ambler Farm and the High School Organic Garden
5/25 Making farm to table recipes in the kitchen
6/1 Trellising; attracting beneficial insects (3 P's ) and the importance of using native plants
6/8 Composting, identifying and caring for sick or infested plants, harvesting early fruit & vegetables
An informational link on youth gardening is provided below
Providing Community Service, Education, Horticulture,
Conservation and Artistry