I reached out to Culver Youth Club (CYC) Director, Brian Carver, a couple of months ago to ask if I could resume the Environmental Club.  We met to discuss what this would look like and during our meeting, he mentioned that he had a grant to start a Gardening Club. 

We are now speaking my love language! 

CYC is different from a school garden in that the kids will be attending during the summer months when the garden needs attention. I told him I would be happy to take the lead to get it done and provide programming all summer long.

Kids Need Nature Learning

According to several studies, the average child in the US spends less than 30 minutes outside each day, and more than seven hours in front of a screen. Yet research shows multiple benefits to being outside, both for kids and adults.

A garden gets kids outside and can teach:

  • Responsibility
  • Practical, Real-life Skills
  • Cooperation and Teamwork
  • Appreciation for Where Food Comes From
  • Science
  • A Sense of Ownership
  • Creativity
  • Self-Confidence

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932)
Created over 400 gardens in the UK, Europe and America

My Ulterior Motive

I love that I can incorporate something I am passionate about into my work, however it’s a win-win for both organizations. 

According to a David Suzuki Foundation survey, people who spend time outside when they’re young are 20 per cent more likely to take part in outdoor programs or to explore nature on their own when they’re older. And if people are spending more time in nature, they are more inclined to take care of it. Hopefully, kids who learn about and love nature will become environmental stewards as adults, when the planet needs them more than ever.

Thanks to the Team

Just like any good leader, I know what my weaknesses are and how to delegate.  I volunteered to get the garden beds built, knowing full well that I wouldn’t actually be doing any construction. I turned to long-time Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council (LMEC) volunteer, Dan Baughman, to take the lead because I knew he would get it done.  He recruited two more volunteers, JD Castleman and Ed Brown, and made it happen.  These guys did a terrific job and I’m lucky to have them on my team.

Left to right: Dan Baughman, JD Castleman, Ed Brown

School gardens can help shape the next generation of environmental stewards. Let me know if you would like to join this important project and ensure its success by helping with some light weeding, watering or mentoring.

I can’t wait to get my hands dirty!