100 Women Who Care Guelph Supports Master Gardeners of Ontario (Guelph Wellington).
100 Women Who Care Guelph, now in its 10th year, has chosen Master Gardeners of Ontario (Guelph-Wellington) as the first charity in 2024 to receive its $10,000+ donation. The donation will contribute to the creation of an inspirational program in local schools to help young people learn to grow food.
Master Gardeners are “… certified horticultural experts who provide gardening information to the public on a volunteer basis; … a community resource for all things botanical!”
Master Gardeners has been and is successful in fulfilling its mandate of “providing advice and inspiration to the local gardening community” for adults; see (www.gwmastergardeners.ca)
However, it also sees the need of young people to learn how to grow food via actual, hands-on experience. 100WWCG funds will be directed towards the creation of a program for Grade 3 students in Guelph which will educate students about growing food gardens with their families.
Current challenges include a need for this knowledge in young people, today’s high cost of food as well as food waste.
There is also a lack of funds; the annual spring plant sale and one other small program generate the only income Master Gardeners receives. These funds are already committed and insufficient (i.e., not available) to design and deliver this innovative program.
100WWCG funding of $10,000+ would be used to build kits for approximately 20 to 25 classrooms, including educational information for starting and maintaining vegetable gardens: a raised planter, full spectrum grow lights, soil, trays, seeds, and necessary tools. The reusable kits would be left with participating schools.
There are sufficient Guelph Master Gardener member-volunteers to help set up the program and provide ongoing support for teachers. School boards will solicit schools to apply for the program, initially selecting those in food insecure geographic areas.
The aim of the program is to encourage local kids and their families to gain lifelong life skills and to see that plants are beneficial to the world and to society. The program has the potential to spread, inspiring many other schools that recognize the need and indeed, “helping the world” to be a greener, less wasteful planet.
Visit www.100womenwhocareguelph.com for more information or to become a member and help support those in need in our community.