Hi Mr. Moss,
When I read your article about getting teens involved in gardening, I wanted to get in touch with you to let you know that some recreation departments offer gardening programs for teens. The last two years I conducted a landscaping program with teens. We landscaped at our local golf courses, cultural centers, recreation centers, and the Teen Center. I also took them to some gardening programs at the local metropark. They had fun.
City of Dayton, Ohio
Dept. of Recreation & Youth Services
Good article. One way to get teens involved hands-on with greening is through a Junior Master Gardener Program. Perhaps you are familiar with this, although it was not one of the "investigate other youth programs" you mentioned in the close of your article. These start at elementary or middle school age and build from year to year. As a member of Greater Greenville (SC) Master Gardeners, I recently visited the director of the Columbia, SC, Junior Master Gardener Program to get some ideas that we could use to start this program in Greenville. The Columbia, SC, program is adjacent to the Columbia Zoo and has awesome resources to involve the students. It is several years old and is very well developed throughout a broad range of ages, mostly due to a single dedicated director and a great volunteer staff -- that sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Thought you might want to know,
I greatly enjoyed the column about grasshoppers. It brought back childhood memories of hot, dusty days chasing grasshoppers in my grandmother's garden. We would put them in a lidded bucket and take them to the chicken pen. Sure was fun to see the chaos when that bucket was opened. Of course, some got away, but grasshoppers are God's creatures, too. Besides, next week we could do it again! Giggles over the column about the squirrels in the balcony, and the midnight nut marauder. Some of the peanuts I put out last winter for the local squirrels were left in exchange for my tulip bulbs. I guess to them it seemed like a fair deal!
Thanks from a fan,
Mary Anne Kazlauskas