Albeit unnamed at the time, our first Community Bridges program was Learn-2-Grow, launched in the summer of 2014 as we worked with our local homeless shelter to provide day programming for the guests. We tilled and planted the first community garden that year, and in collaboration with the guests at the shelter, harvested over 800 pounds of produce that were donated to local food banks.
Fast forward to 2018. We are now gardening just over 2 acres of land, providing an opportunity for youth in our community to come together and literally Learn-2-Grow. During the past two summers, approximately 100 youth enrolled in our local YMCA summer camp came once a week and worked in one of our community gardens. The emphasis was to both learn and serve.
Each Saturday throughout the growing season, volunteers are encouraged to come and work with us. Our garden manager, Jean Snyder, is a Master Gardener and has the competencies to teach on a variety of garden-related topics. More importantly, she is deeply passionate about equipping people, particularly our youth, to serve in their community.