This summer, 4-H Youth Development of Oakland County partnered with the Charter Township of Royal Oak and the Neighborhood Garden Coalition to reach over 100 youth in Ferndale and the surrounding communities with the 4-H Kids in the Garden program. Summer Youth Leaders Rachel Matich and Iris Shen-VanBuren met twice a week for eight weeks with the children attending the Royal Oak Township Recreation Center day camp, to plant their own Children’s Garden full of their favorite vegetables and even some vegetables that were new to their plates.
While learning how to take care of their own garden, they also learned about nutrition, plant science, water quality and the value of hard work through fun, hands-on learning activities. All of the children also had the opportunity to create fun and useful crafts for the garden such as scarecrows, wind chimes, a decorative and flashy garden barrier, and cement stepping stones that will be a marker of their hard work and ownership for years to come.
One of the greatest testaments to the success of the program was the enthusiasm of the children and the initiative they showed in caring for the garden. The walk from the community center to the garden is a half-mile stretch of usually littered road and sidewalk, but the kids made a fun competition out of who could collect the most trash and throw it away where it belongs.
On Wednesday, July 27th, participants in 4-H Kids in the Garden created their own personalized stepping stones. These stones will be kept in the garden as a memento of the children's summer-long effort and participation in the program. Check out all of the action in the photos below!
All photos by 4-H Youth Development Administrative Assistant Margi Miller
For more information about 4-H Kids in the Garden, please contact Julie Scislowicz at (248) 858-1018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.