Monday, April 22nd, 2013
How Community Gardens Help Kids Become Good Global Citizens
By Jill Sedita
Why community gardening with your kids is cool-incultureparent/ (c) Jill Sedita
Over the course of the last year, my family has taken a big step towards becoming good stewards of the Earth by “going green” and building neighborhood ties through participation in our community garden.
Community gardens provide important and valuable benefits for children. This type of gardening makes it easy for your kids to become interconnected nature lovers. But there’s an added benefit: working together with others for a greater good fosters a strong sense of responsibility and enlightenment vital to becoming a productive global citizen.
Before scoring the last available plot at our local community garden, we were gardening newbies, and so excited for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful educational and cooperative experience.
As a family, we’ve learned so much already and look forward to gaining and sharing even more gardening wisdom with our fellow members consisting of both new gardeners like ourselves, as well as more skillful, accomplished growers.
Gardening is a very interactive and engaging activity for kids. They seem naturally drawn to the experience and want to jump right in. There are so many hands-on opportunities to learn about the environment and conservation, including: the importance of healthy soil; how the water cycle works; saving our planet’s resources by recycling and reducing waste. Kids can also begin to develop an in-depth understanding of where their food, clothes and medicines come from. These are great lessons that help children develop a strong appreciation for nature, as well as an understanding of the interconnectivity of our world.
Here are four wonderful ways that community gardening can help connect kids with nature, and inspire them to become good global citizens:
1. Ahh… It’s Serene and Peaceful.
Participants peacefully work together as co-stewards of a plot of earth with the unselfish goal of making the most productive, sustainable use of it.
2. Fosters a Sense of Confidence (Even in Young Children)
They are always happy to make necessary trips to the garden to fulfill their duties such as depositing our household compost contributions, and helping to tidy up the plot by raking and weeding. The boys recently harvested sweet potatoes from the community plot!
3. It’s So Messy & Fun!
4. It Fosters a Sense of Community That Lasts a Lifetime
Click for *free* K-12 educational resources provided by Green Education Foundation (GEF). GEF is a national non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education “to inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global sustainability concerns and solutions.”
© 2013, Jill Sedita. All rights reserved.
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