Youth gardens offer many opportunities for gardeners to give back to their community. Drawing from the concept of “Pay It Forward,” by which a person who has received a gift repays it by giving a gift to another instead of the original donor, encourage your young gardeners this year to “Plant It Forward.” Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Collect and save seeds from your garden to donate to other youth or community garden programs or home gardeners. Learn more about preserving seeds in the Classroom Project Finding, Gathering, Saving Seeds.
- Donate a portion of your harvest to a local food bank or shelter. Read about an awesome, inspirational program called Katie’s Krops. Get support for your efforts from the Plant a Row for the Hungry campaign coordinated the Garden Writers Association Foundation.
- Start a community garden on your school grounds. Offering neighbors space to garden can provide benefits for everyone involved. Learn more.
- Give a Garden through the National Gardening Association. Find a garden program to adopt through our Garden Registry and donate one of eight specially crafted garden packages or a Gardening with Kids Shop gift card.
- Use your garden to enhance the local environment in your community. Build a rain garden and decrease pollution from storm water runoff, plant trees and improve air quality, or install native plants to provide habitats for wildlife.
Has your garden program found unique ways to “Plant It Forward” in your community? Use the comment section below to post additional ideas.