Gardens in the Gulf

Mississippi families and students plant gardens to teach green living

Grantee: Youth Villages, Inc. – Douglasville, GA

Project Title: Gardens in the Gulf

Grant Type: ecoSolution

Description: Thanks to a grant from the Captain Planet Foundation, Youth Villages staff and families joined Pascagoula High students and faculty to celebrate Gardens in the Gulf Day at the Douglasville campus. The Douglasville residential campus for children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues. With the grant, funds were used to enhance an existing organic vegetable, herb and flower garden on the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville. Funds also assisted with reinforcing and building a fence around the garden, providing mulch, fertilizer, and equipment, as well as bulbs and new plants.

This program is designed to help Mississippi youth and families learn the basics of organic gardening and provide an exciting, hands-on learning experience on green living and healthy eating. 500 students at Pascagoula High and Martin Bluff Elementary will utilize the gardens to learn gardening techniques, botany, and to study ecosystems. Tending to the gardens can also be therapeutic, leading to better communications and problem-solving skills.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Captain Planet Foundation on this pilot program to provide both environmental education and organic backyard gardens to the children, families and young adults we help in Georgia and Mississippi.” – Mary Norman, Youth Villages Georgia director of development

Participants learned the science of organic gardening and constructed a garden in the school’s courtyard on Wednesday, April 25th. The families in attendance, who have received services from Youth Villages, put that knowledge to use by constructing organic gardens in their own backyards. Materials for the school garden and the backyard gardens were included in the grant.

The Mississippi Youth Villages Gardens in the Gulf Day is the was also funded by the Captain Planet Foundation. They used the funds to kickstart their Gardens in the Gulf project. In Mississippi, Youth Villages provides foster care and transitional living services, as well as home- and community-based services.