2017-02-17 / Community

Applications available for 2017 'Kids Can Grow' program

SANFORD — Applications are now available for University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s "Kids Can Grow" youth gardening program in York County.

Children ages 7 to 12 will learn how to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs, and build and maintain their own raised bed garden at home.

Teaching sessions are held monthly on Saturdays from April 1 to Sept.23 at Crossroads Methodist Church, 16 Grammar Road in Sanford. 

UMaine Extension Master Gardener volunteers work with participants throughout the gardening season in teaching gardens. The children then work on their home gardens with help from their Master Gardener mentors.

Kids also learn about community service by donating produce from the teaching gardens to local food pantries and shelters.

The registration fee is $25 per child and the application deadline is ​Friday, March ​10​.

Enrollment is limited to 24 participants.

For more information, to request a brochure or application, or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension in York County call 324-2814 or send en email to susan.tkacik@maine.edu.

"Kids Can Grow" provides children with a positive first experience with gardening and growing their own food, according to UMaine Extension Professor Frank Wertheim.

The hope is that this early experience will inspire in young people a life-long interest in gardening, healthy eating and further exploration of natural resources related fields. 

The program, which has its roots in York County and is now being adapted across Maine and in other parts of the U.S., is gaining in popularity as national interest in youth gardening and local foods has grown.

As a trusted resource for 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. 

UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated.

UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.   

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