Green Education Foundation Calls on Schools and Youth Groups to Plant 10,000 Gardens During "Green T

From: Green Education Foundation
Published: Fri Jan 22 2010


The Green Education Foundation (GEF) has announced today the launch of the Green Thumb Challenge, the largest youth gardening initiative in history. The program mobilizes schools and youth groups across the country to plant 10,000 indoor and outdoor gardens in the spring and summer of 2010, aiming to connect kids nationwide with the joys and healthy benefits of gardening. GEF has partnered with Lowe’s and six of the world’s leading garden suppliers: Scotts Miracle Grow, Ames True Temper, Bayer Advanced, Central Garden and Pet, Bonnie Plants, and United Industries.

Current statistics reflect alarming trends in the health and well-being of American children. One in three kids are overweight or obese, and incidents of related health issues such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are soaring. (Source: Washington Post). To address these critical concerns, GEF has partnered with the USDA MyPyramid program to promote messages of health and nutrition with kids in the garden. Cub Scouts Pack 44 of Walpole, MA, a Green Thumb Challenge pilot, planted their vegetable garden this past spring on a local community plot. Pack Leader Richard DeNoyer jumped at the idea of the boys planting a garden. “It was an effective way to foster team work and responsibility with the added benefit of getting the boys to interact with nature on an ongoing basis.”

The Green Thumb Challenge website, www.greenthumbchallenge.org, guides participants through the process of starting, maintain and sustaining a youth garden of any size. GEF also provides standards-based lessons that link gardening and composting to science, math, language arts, creative arts and technology. “A significant goal of the Green Education Foundation is to promote creative and effective ways for teachers and youth group leaders to incorporate the outdoors into their curricula. Kids planting and maintaining gardens as part of the the Green Thumb Challenge is a perfect mechanism for hands-on environmental education,” noted Victoria Waters, President GEF.

To kick start the program and bring nature indoors this winter, participants have been invited to join the Adopt-a-Plant for your Classroom campaign. In partnership with Costa Farms, GEF is encouraging schools to purify the air and reduce indoor pollution, one plant at a time. All participants receive a 50% off coupon for an indoor plant purchased at Lowe’s, and will have access to adoption papers and related curriculum on the Green Thumb Challenge website.

About Green Education Foundation
Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides environmental education resources for Pre K-12 classrooms and youth groups nationwide. GEF believes that what is healthy for the environment is healthy for kids, and promotes learning opportunities that develop sustainable habits of environmental stewardship in children and their communities. GEF’s National Green Week mobilizes millions of students each year to participate in eco-challenges that empower school communities to achieve measurable and sustainable goals in waste reduction and energy conservation. Visit www.GreenEducationFoundation.org.

PRESS CONTACT: Jessica Drench p: 888.668.2298 e: jdrench@greeneducationfoundation.org
Company: Green Education Foundation
Contact Name: Victoria Waters
Contact Email: vwaters@greeneducationfoundation.org
Contact Phone: 508-668-2278

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