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Summer Youth Projects

5/02/2024

Youth Projects are perfect activities for both experienced Master Gardeners and for interns
a group of adult volunteers and youth
Peace Sanctuary Garden on Market Day

Spring and summer are those exciting times of year for Minnesota gardeners to prepare and enjoy their own gardens. They are also times for our many Youth Projects to jump into gear and present opportunities to share the joys of gardening with future gardeners. The Ramsey County Master Gardener organization has Youth Project opportunities to fit the diverse tastes of our varied volunteer community.

two young boys in a vegetable garden
MAICC Youth Gardeners

Youth Projects are perfect activities for both experienced Master Gardeners and for interns. Many of the openings involve working with the kids on an activity described by a lead teacher. Such openings require little to no preparation. There are also openings for those comfortable in the lead teacher role as well. Each such position comes with supporting curriculum and activity materials as needed.


Following is an overview of some of these projects. Also listed is a person to contact should you have any questions. Sign Up Genius postings have been sent or will be sent for each so be on the lookout for them. You can also easily find them by using the Sign Up Genius search feature and searching on “Youth” for many or on a keyword that is part of the project name.


If you are looking for something to do now (May), there are opportunities helping the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District (Ed Shinbach) with the Keller Lake shoreline restoration or helping American Indian preschoolers as part of the Montessori American Indian Childcare Center (MAICC) summer camp (Ann Aurelius).

A master gardener assists a line of gradeschoolers
Gopher Adventure Camp

There are many summer camp opportunities on the horizon. In addition to the MAICC camp, there are openings volunteering in Goldy’s Garden on the U of M St. Paul Campus as part of the Gopher Adventures camp (Susan Cathey) as well as with Arts Us (Ed Shinbach) and the Irreducible Grace Foundation (Marlys Daugherty) camps in the inner city.


And, while not a summer camp, another popular inner city project is the Peace Sanctuary Garden (Megan Phinney), held on a weekly basis in the Rondo neighborhood.


A different kind of opportunity is the Garden Gnomes project (Susan Cathey) in which Master Gardeners staff a booth at selected Farmers Markets and engage youth with fun activities, all of which come with the needed materials.


While most Youth Projects occur during conventional 9-5 working hours, not all do. So if you are generally not available during weekday working hours but still like engaging with youth, you might be interested in the Garden Gnomes booth at Hmongtown Market (Saturdays) or the Peace Sanctuary Garden and Irreducible Grace Foundation projects, both of which occur during weekdays but late in the day.


Many of us were introduced to gardening by someone else – whether it be a parent, grandparent, friend, neighbor or, possibly even, a Master Gardener. The many opportunities available in Youth Projects present us with that same opportunity to “pay it forward” and engage someone in a future generation with that same joy.

2 master gardeners speak to a youth at a farmers market
Garden Gnomes

Ed Shinbach

Youth Projects Co-Chair

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