4-H Green Thumb Team

At A Glance

Contact: 

Ashley Zuorski

Location: 

Auburn, New Hampshire

Active since:

2007

Tax Status:

501(c)(3)

Our Purpose

To create a community Teaching Garden that primarily focuses on the invocation of outdoor, hands-on learning in environmental science and gardening techniques that incorporates the 4-H standards of greater thinking, greater loyalty and caring, service to the community, and healthy living. The 4-H standards of greater thinking and greater loyalty and caring are instilled in the lessons by challenging the children with environmental science lessons and efficient permaculture techniques, as well as encouraging group coordination and respect.The community service and healthy living lessons are reached through helping the students grow their own organic food plots, consume from the garden itself, as well as learn NH HEAL strategies of 5210 to foster good nutrition. Many of the student's families benefit from the majority of garden production that is donated to the local Food Bank. It is a wonder to see students selflessly put effort into a garden that will ultimately benefit low-income families with healthy, organic food. And further, the awe of the children in nature's growth and abundance inspires the flourishing creativity of the garden. The garden is used to teach these skills and benefit to 150 inner city, low-income, immigrant, refugee, and neighborhood youth, as well as their families and elders. The garden is an organic, permaculture-based system, where Master Gardeners, Americorps volunteers, as well as other adults of various ages interested in environmental education and gardening both work and volunteer collectively to run the 4-H Green Thumb Team Project. Some of our most prizing outcomes of the project are being able to educate 150 youth per week during the summer season, of which 75% will have the opportunity to represent their knowledge through 4-H events to local community, other Audubon and 4-H members, as well as their families. Some of these students that show special interest in the project have the opportunity to become Junior Gardeners, and become middle and high school youth volunteers as well as high school mentors. By the end of each summer, our garden production has grown to donate at least 3,000 lbs to the NH Food Bank, much of which benefits the families of our students. We hope to be able to develop in size and production, and further extend our efforts throughout the rest of the year by establishing more environmental science and garden programs in local schools. Before we can soar on the cloud of our dreams, however, we must be able to support our current budgets that include seeds, learning supplies, and also fund full-time and part-time payroll for more of our crucial volunteers. The passion of the 4-H Green Thumb Project is radiant, and every year empowers community development and environmental awareness in our neighborhoods. We hope to maintain and eventually grow as a project, just as we do our garden.