Grant will be used to educate and empower the youth of St. Louis through exposure to gardening and healthy eating.
St. Louis (April 12th, 2016) – Gateway Greening has been educating and empowering individuals to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture in the St. Louis community for more than 30 years. As part of its 2016 initiative, the Monsanto Fund has granted $205,000 to Gateway Greening for its Youth Garden Program. Monsanto Fund has partnered with Gateway Greening since 2004, contributing more than $1.5 million to various programs over the last 12 years.
Through the Monsanto Fund, Gateway Greening’s youth gardens and programs are able to inspire and educate children across St. Louis through hands-on outdoor lessons and activities in the garden. We work with parents, teachers and other community leaders to teach kids about gardening, agriculture and healthy eating. Matt Schindler, Gateway Greening’s Executive Director, explains the importance of this grant. “The Monsanto Fund is helping our youth in St. Louis develop a lifelong appreciation for nature, gardening and learning. Gateway Greening is able to utilize this grant from the Monsanto Fund to build and grow our Youth Garden Program, which is impacting over 3,000 kids and over 70 communities in the St. Louis region every year,” said Schindler.
Gateway Greening has said that all subjects can be taught from the garden. Kathleen Carson, Gateway Greening’s Education Manager, points out science in particular. “The Youth Garden Program is growing scientists. Our Youth Educators work with teachers to get elementary students out in their school gardens, exploring plant science, soils, weather, water cycle, food webs and, of course, eating food they have grown themselves. In addition, they are creating inviting places for their school community to flourish,” said Carson.
Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer, highlights the wide scope of benefits provided by the program. “Gateway Greening’s Youth Garden Program beautifies our community, teaches young people about food and nutrition, and pulls science education out of the classroom and into an engaging, outdoor environment,” said Insco. “Many of these students grew up in the city, so they also learn how agriculture is an integral part in our daily lives, even if they’ve never been to a farm. Monsanto Fund is proud to support this program.”
When building youth gardens, projects are selected based on a number of factors including: need, the quality of the garden space, the level of community and staff support and the thoroughness of the plan for using the garden space. Awarded sites are typically supported with seeds/plants, garden tools, materials (hardscape and landscape), curricular resources and training. We strive to establish sustainable garden projects that can continue teaching our youth for years to come.
About Gateway Greening
Gateway Greening is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Gateway Greening has been working to provide creative, grassroots solutions to urban problems since 1984. Programs include supporting more than 200 community and youth-focused gardens across the St. Louis area through educational opportunities, garden supplies and technical assistance; and Gateway Greening’s Urban Farm, a 2.5-acre farm in downtown St. Louis that provides therapeutic horticulture and a jobs training program. Visit Gateway Greening at www.gatewaygreening.org. @gatewaygreening.
About Monsanto Fund
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farm families and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org.