MONROE CO., N.Y. — Over the last ten weeks, youth from Lakeshore Elementary School have taken the lead on a garden innovation project to support their school garden. With support from the Whole Kids Foundation Garden Grant, the 4-H team, alongside Earthworks, and youth garden leaders at Lakeshore Elementary School, was able to begin a 4-H Garden Club where eight youth were selected to become garden leaders. Youth were chosen based on applications that outlined their individual ideas for a garden project as well as their reasoning for wanting to be a garden leader. Once selected, the new garden leaders set out on a mission to research, design, and implement a water collection system that would support the functionality of the garden.
For the first five weeks, 4-H’ers participated in garden based learning activities: soil-painting, gardening in a glove, plant-need sombreros, to name a few! With these fun activities, the group was able to get to the roots of what plants and a garden need to thrive. Taking time to think and discuss as a group provided a cohesive foundation for the design and implementation of the water collection system.
The remainder of time was utilized for the water collection system project! Youth spent weeks thinking through every step of the project. From research of different water collection systems, to discussing what needs would have to be met so that the system is sustainable and stable, to designing what the system may look like on paper. Finally, the 4-H garden leaders spent their last meeting making models of what the water collection system would look like, and how it would function.
For four weeks, from May-June, the garden leaders will work alongside 4-H, Earthworks, and Lakeshore Elementary to build the water collection system, troubleshoot design issues, and see their project come to life!
The 4-H Garden Club doesn’t end there, with the start of next school year a new set of 4th grade garden leaders will observe this year’s project and discuss, design, and implement changes that need to be made with guidance and support from the 2022 garden leaders.
The Monroe County 4-H Program is offered through Cornell Cooperative Extension to the youth of Monroe County. 4-H is a worldwide youth development program open to all youth ages 5 to 19, who want to have fun, learn new skills, and explore the world. In return, youth who participate in 4-H find a supportive environment and opportunities for hands-on or “experiential” learning about things that interest them. Learn more at http://monroe.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Monroe County