How can we encourage our children to eat healthy foods, enjoy the outdoors, and take care of the earth … all while developing their science skills? Now in its 45th year, Washington Youth Garden has the answer, offering year-round gardening programs to more than 5,000 youth annually. The vast majority of participants live in low-income neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, green spaces are limited, and nutrition education is virtually nonexistent. Through multi-year partnerships at six schools, entire communities come together to design, install, and maintain school gardens; meanwhile, staff deliver free science and nutrition curricula and work with teachers to enrich their lessons with outdoor, garden-based learning. At WYG’s demonstration garden (located in the stunning National Arboretum), instructors offer hands-on science field trips to grades pre-K through 12 at low or no cost. A paid summer internship program for high schoolers focuses on urban gardening and environmental stewardship, complete with cooking lessons, food systems training, farm visits, and community service projects. Plant a seed … and watch it grow.
Headquarters: DC-Ward 5
Where They Operate: DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6
Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)
Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic
Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Students
Schools They Work In: We work with a number of schools and community organizations over two of our programs -- Garden Science and SPROUT. The following is not an exhaustive list: ; Center City Charter School - Trinidad Campus and Capital Hill Campus; Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Public Charter School; Mary McLeod Bethune Public Charter School; John Burroughs Education Campus; Thurgood Marshall Elementary School; Tree of Life Community Public Charter School; Howard Gardner Elementary; Miner Elementary; Paul Middle Public Charter; River Terrace; Audobon Naturalist Society Summer Camp; Cesar Chavez High School ; Two Rivers Public Charter School; Greenbelt Mamas and Poppas ; Candeze Community Kids
Awards & Recognition
2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the WYG!
WYG received a Gold Leaf Award from the Department of Transportation - 6/2011.
WYG received Nature Explore Classsroom certification from the Arbor Day Foundation for the only certified site in Washington - 11/2011.
Featured in the documentary Community of Gardens and premiered throughout the DC area throughout the year.
- $3 million or higher
- The current budget for Washington Youth Garden, Friends of the National Arboretum is: $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
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