Growing connection in the next generation of gardeners

Published: 29 Sep 2021

[Vision: Children planting seedlings into garden bed under supervision of James]

James McLennan - Founder, Grassroots Sustainability

I’ve been doing some work for the Victorian school gardening program, let’s stay connected fund, and we put it under a program called the Connecting Junior Gardeners Program.

[Vision: Children planting seedlings into garden bed]

So we put together a four-week curriculum plan for schools, they can access it, and basically get their kids into the gardens and learning about gardening.

Noah - Junior Gardener

Been planting and we get more oxygen.

Olivia - Junior Gardener

We just didn’t watch, we helped too.

[Vision: Children planting seedlings into garden bed under supervision of James]

James McLennan - Founder, Grassroots Sustainability

Coming out of the year that we’ve had through COVID gardening plays a more important role than what it has before to get kids in the outdoors and learning about where their food’s coming from, but also growing food together collaboratively is a pretty special thing and is a great way of getting kids connecting with each other.

Olivia - Junior Gardener

We get more fresh air and we get to have, like, a little bit more fun.

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[Victoria State Government. Authorised by the Victorian Government, Melbourne]

Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

Young people with green thumbs will grow their gardening knowledge as part of a new program, Connecting Junior Gardeners.

The Connecting Junior Gardeners program was launched in March 2021 at St Peter’s Primary School in Bentleigh East. It was developed to inspire children to discover the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening, including physical exercise, connecting with nature and being mindful.

It offers classes to primary school students online and in schools, providing children with opportunities to learn more about gardening.

The classes are provided by James McLennan from Grassroots Sustainability, who teaches the young participants hands-on gardening skills.

The young people involved can also access digital materials such as videos, online activities and fact sheets, through the Victorian Schools Garden Program website.

The first young participants involved in the program at St Peters Primary relished the opportunity to get outdoors and plant seedlings like lettuce and basil.

“Coming out of the year that we’ve had through COVID, gardening plays an even more important role than what it has before, to get kids outdoors and learning about where their food comes from,” presenter James McLennan said.

Connecting Junior Gardeners is being run by Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria, the state’s peak industry body for the horticultural sector which has been cultivating excellence in the garden industry for decades.

The program is being funded through the Victorian Government’s $1.3 million Let’s Stay Connected Fund, which is providing grants between $5,000 and $200,000 to enable community organisations to launch or expand community focused projects.

The projects being supported through the fund will reduce isolation and build community connection as Victorians take steps towards recovery from COVID-19.

Let’s Stay Connected has provided funding to 16 organisations across metropolitan Melbourne and 23 across regional Victoria.

For more information about the Let’s Stay Connected Fund visit the Suburban Development website.

Page last updated 21 Jun 2022
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