The Gifford Youth Activity Center promotes opportunities and programs that foster student achievement: the 24,000 square foot facility boasts computer labs, classroom space, an indoor gym, and outdoor aquatics center.
The GYAC philosophy is holistic, yet simple: an engaged, productive child will likely become an engaging, productive adult. To this end, they’ve partnered with local organizations willing to share life-enhancing, vocational skills with the youth community; for our group that meant building and maintaining a community garden:
John Beukers, (a fellow Indian River County MG) has been the driving force behind the garden since its 2006 installation. Every Friday finds him working alongside the Student Gardening Club, teaching the logistics of planting…..and importance of weeding. 😉 This is one meticulously maintained piece of land! 🙂
In this “Knowing Growing Garden” the students have learned about alternative energy (note the solar panel, bottom right, and portable fuel cell storage box beneath the arbor.). They’ve worked with clay to design and decorate the pavers; they’ve received an intro to hydroponics via a center pond of homegrown water lilies.
Then it was down to business, planting cabbages and onions:
……exotic Daikon Radish greens:
Beautiful yields, yeah? These kids have every reason to be proud of their accomplishment!
But wait….there’s more!
This wonderful teaching space is also an official Weather Station! (Due to the angle of the sun and the terrible fog that day, I was unable to shoot the equipment in any way worth sharing. :()
To see the real-time forecast, check out the website in the picture,! ..pretty cool!
Until next time……
🙂 🙂 🙂
- Best Community Gardens on the West Coast (apartmentguide.com)
- New City & Rosati Kain students helping others this holiday season (nickidwyer.typepad.com)
- Sharing a garden in Long Lake (northcountrypublicradio.org)
- Costa defends the role of community garden (blogs.abc.net.au)
- Building gardens to promote community (mentalflowers.wordpress.com)
- Community Gardens (obxcommongood.org)
- Goodwill To Build A Community Garden In Low-income Neighborhood (wspa.com)
- Community garden reaps calm, gifts year-round (wisn.com)