The Males Place Community Garden Project is an innovative program designed to educate youth involved in the Males Place Program
in the areas of:
- self reliance
- good nutrition
- life skills
- basic gardening
Youth group members are clients of the Males Place program and reside in neighborhoods that have the County’s highest rates of crime, teen pregnancy and chronic disease. Youth range in age from 12 to 18 years old. All are African-American.
The project launched on April 11, 2009 with a kickoff that was held to till the garden and build a fence surrounding the 5,000 square foot plot. At this event were representatives from the collaborating agencies, 10 adult mentor volunteers who work with Male's Place youth, and 30 of The Males Place program participants.
Program Benefits and Building on Past Success
The benefits of the community garden program are:
- Gardening is a tool used to teach important life lessons on the responsibilities of manhood.
- Increasing community organization participation and camaraderie.
- Health benefits of physical activity, being outdoors, and good nutrition.
- Decreasing crime in the neighborhood as youth, program mentors and collaborating agency staff work in the garden and function as the “eyes” of the neighborhood.
- Developing the unused plot of land and creating a “green” space for growing
fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
- Enabling inter-generations to partner together, learn teambuilding skills and patience.
- Improving air quality.