Sustainable Food Production Education at a Youth Residential Treatment Center

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth Educator
Funds awarded in 2009: $2,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Manager:
Belinda Meis
Lutheran Services in Iowa, Beloit


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: youth education
  • Sustainable Communities: community services

    Proposal abstract:

    Under the supervision of trained volunteers, youth ages 8 to 15, consumers at a residential treatment center in Ames, Iowa, will participate in planning, constructing, planting, and maintaining a sustainable food system that provides food for their use with the long-range goal of expansion to grow fresh produce for a local food pantry. The non-formal education provided in this structured environment will teach at risk youth that food comes from plants they nurture from seed to harvest and will give them a sense of responsibility. Participation in a food production system will be a powerful experience because these children often don't feel empowered in other areas of their lives. The sustainable gardening project will use a nationally recognized environmental education curriculum along with the construction of a 3-bin composting unit, a series of raised bed gardens with walkways and fence. Volunteers from several local organizations will be involved. Located near a church and in a residential area, the garden will demonstrate how a traditional lawn can become a sustainable food production system that provides a safe and nutritious food supply while sustaining the land. This project will be documented as a model for similar institutions serving youth.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.