Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County’s Garden, Outdoor Education and Play Area to Begin Project Execution

Posted on Categories Member News, Non-Profit

TRENTON, NJ (April 17, 2018)—The Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County hosted their groundbreaking ceremony for the new Community Garden on Monday, April 16, 2018 located across the street from their Centre Street facility. 

The groundbreaking was well attended; Novo Nordisk, New Jersey Relators, and the City of Trenton’s Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson. There were also long-time donors and supporters in attendance including Anne Gates.

“Awareness around the importance of choosing to live a healthy lifestyle needs to begin at a young age,” said Diana Blankman, senior director of U.S. Corporate Sustainability & Social Impact during this morning’s event. “Our hope is that partnering with the Boys & Girls Club to create this shared space will give children and their families a fun learning experience.”

The goal of the Boys & Girls Clubs Garden and Outdoor Education Center is to teach area youth through hands on projects about healthy living and our ecosystem. It is also a space for youth to be outdoors and learn. From planting vegetables and flowers, to STEM and Art classes in the Education Center, to just being able to play outside on the grass.

With over 200 youth utilizing the outdoor classroom each day, it will have a profound impact when it comes to giving children the experience of learning outside, surrounded by plants and trees. The members of the Club will be involved in helping choose what to grow, harvesting the vegetables and learning how to cook what they have grown in the Club’s cooking program.

“This garden will provide our kids with healthy foods that they can make in cooking classes held every week at the club,” said Kathryn Price Engelhard, development director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County. “It will teach them how to garden, the importance of eating a healthy meal and give them an opportunity to learn outdoors.”

The belief is that through a community garden we can not only impact the members of the organization but also the neighborhood. Young people will be exposed to planning and preparing the soil, both flower and vegetable beds, weeding, watering and harvesting the garden. The staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs will expose their members to science, math, art and learning about the environment. The real world application of a garden to practice math, language arts, science, and all other subjects gives children a reason to learn.

This Community Garden project would not have been able to be accomplished without the help and support of Novo Nordisk, Housing Opportunity Foundation, New Jersey Realtors, Dr. Jane Rolf and Ted Boyer, Dan Loughner and Linda Cooper, the West Trenton Garden Club, Zoubir
Yazid Family and Friends, the City of Trenton, Stouts Bus and all the staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mercer County.

If you are interested making a donating to our project, or would like more information please contact our Development Director, Kathryn Price Engelhard at events@bgcmercer.org or visit our fundraising site at https://www.firstgiving.com/event/bgcmercer/community-garden.