Youth Grow


Youth Grow provides hands-on education in school gardens to help all children feel accepted and empowered to make healthy choices, become stewards of the environment, share their culture and increase community resiliency.

What We Do


Lead garden-based education during the school day, afterschool and summer to engage kids in science and interdisciplinary learning while building skills of classroom teachers. Each year we teach over 2000 students during the school day and 300 in afterschool Garden Clubs.

During the Coronavirus school closures, we have pivoted to provide innovative programming:

  • Youth Grow YouTube channel with video lessons! These lessons are utilized by over 100 teachers to enhance distance learning activities at 10 schools. Each month we produce two online lessons per grade K-5.  Lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, and focus on topic such as plant parts, habitats, animal structure and functions, food origins, and ecosystems.
  • *  Growing Gardens educators teach “live” online class meetings from the gardens.
  • * Distributed 685 of take-home Spring Garden Kits (pots, soil, seeds, “Sprout Journal” activity book, ruler and Home Gardens flyer) at school-based food pantries.
  • * Designed and distributed 809 Summer Garden Kits (pot, salad mix seeds, materials for native wildflower seed bombs) to 10 schools and a library.
  • * Cooking kits are being created and distributed at each school. The first was 650 “Apple Tasting Kits” in partnership with Portland Nursery. Next up is a sautéed collard greens with cornbread kit in partnership with Black Futures Farm and Faubion elementary.  Then, “Dulce de Calabaza” kit with winter squash at Powell Butte elementary. Stay tuned for the next one…
  • * Creating and distributing 200 Pre-K and Kindergarden kits every month to 5 schools. Each kit focuses on a different sense and early-learning skills.  The first kit focused on native tree leaves, doing a leaf rubbing, and the anatomy of leaves. The next one is a pinecone decorating kit.
  • * Leading a “Grow, Eat, Teach” virtual club at David Douglas High School and a Garden  Club at Oakley Green Middle school. Students get materials and ingredients to cook and grow food at home, while they join the live online sessions.
  • * Shifted to production gardening at school gardens to harvest vegetables and donate them to families at school-based food pantries. 1200 lbs of organic produce were shared with families at school-based pantries over the last year.

Promote Health

Improve access to and child enthusiasm for healthy fruits and vegetables. We grow produce to donate to the cafeteria, offer in taste-tests and give to families.

Inspire Environmental Stewards

Inspire the next generation of environmental conservationists. We get kids outside to have hands-on experiences with the biodiversity of nature. Lessons that connect to the big picture (soil fertility, pollination, carbon cycle, climate, etc.)

Build Community

Facilitate intergenerational and multicultural community-building. Last year we participated in over 50 school events to connect families around common interests in gardens and food.

Focus on Sustainability

Build the skills, sense of ownership and resources to ensure that garden programs continue beyond GG’s partnership with each school.

Build a Movement

Play a leadership role in the regional movement to expand and sustain school garden programs for more children, teachers and families.

Where we Work

Our current school partners are:

  • Faubion K-8
  • Lent K-8
  • Kelly K-5
  • Whitman K-5
  • Scott K-5
  • Cherry Park K-5
  • Glenfair K-5
  • Davis K-5
  • Powell Butte K-5
  • Patrick Lynch K-5
  • David Douglas High School

To apply for a school partnership, please contact our Youth Grow Program Manager Amoreena. Youth Grow takes on new commitments as funding allows and seeks opportunities for joint fundraising.