The Youth Garden Project began in March of 1996 with one program designed to offer youth with court-ordered community service hours an opportunity to serve their hours in an educational and nurturing environment. Founded by Moab resident, Sarah Heffron, the garden was in her backyard and served about a dozen youth in its first year. It’s grown every year since then! From 1997-2011, the Youth Garden Project received an AmeriCorps Grant which increased its ability to serve the community. As the garden expanded, so did the offering of programs and the ability to become sustainable without AmeriCorps funding.
Today the Youth Garden Project sits on one and a half acres of land next to and leased from Grand County High School. YGP is focused on offering high-quality educational programs for youth and community members in Moab. Our current programs are: After-school programs, Garden Classroom Field Trips, Summer Camp, High School Science Class, Community Weed n’ Feeds, Moab Farmers’ Market, Sustainable Agriculture Workshops, and a Community Supported Agriculture program. In addition, we have Internship and Volunteer programs to give individuals a more in-depth learning experience at YGP.
YGP strives to be a community cornerstone and a place for all to discover, learn, explore and have fun!
Inside The Numbers…
- We serve approximately 870 students in Grand County School District and the Moab Charter School through our Garden Classroom Field Trips and After School Programs.
- Through our Summer Camp, YGP serves 24-26 youth each week of summer vacation.
- Approximately 65 community members attend and learn from our Workshop Series each year.
- YGP feeds about 500 Half Marathon runners through our pasta dinner fundraiser!
- About 300 volunteers in total attend the Youth Garden Weed n’ Feed nights each season!
- We have 9 chickens, each with an exciting personality! One of the ladies, Big Red, loves to jump coop and hang out by the compost. *editors note-sadly Big Red was taken from us.
- Jack and Pumpkin are our 2 cats that love to prowl around the Garden. Jack is particularly fat, loves finding mice, and will follow you everywhere around the garden until he gets fed. Pumpkin is black and orange and keeps to herself most of the time.
- In just 1 week, the Youth Garden Summer Camp puts on a full scale garden-themed play at Moab’s Historic Star Hall each year during “Theatre Week.”
- Through our summer program, we have watched 100s of Moab’s youth grow up at the Youth Garden Project!
- Pumpkin Chuckin’ is our biggest fundraiser of the year attracting over 1,900 people and requiring 120 amazing volunteers!
- We sell approximately 100 different varieties of vegetables, flowers, herbs, perennials, and bare root fruit trees at our annual plant sale!
- Currently YGP offers 12 CSA shares each year, a program that started in 2009.
Did You Know…
- We call the home for our rabbits the “Rabitat.”
- We have a commercial kitchen that we use to prepare and preserve foods. YGP also rents out the kitchen to community members so they can prepare and preserve food too!
- We have a Community Nibble Garden on our property, across from the bike path. We use this space to grow food for the community to snack on while passing by.
- YGP picks up the pumpkin shards after the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival and feeds them to pigs at a local farm so no pumpkin is wasted!
- We have an asparagus patch!
- YGP has some really neat structures (Take a Look!). Including tunnels that are covered in growing grape vines, green beans, and gourds; and what we call the Sunken Classroom that is set in the ground and consumed by beautiful trumpet vine.
- We will gladly take your compost if you don’t have your own pile at home! Just contact us for our composting guidelines.
- Our orchard includes peach, pear, apple, plum, cherry and almond trees!
- Our offices are located in the Shafer House- which is one of the oldest and most historic adobe buildings in Grand County!
- YGP has mastered 6 different flavors of jam and is always looking for new recipes. The latest addition to the jam family is nectarine-basil!
- YGP has several types of culinary and medicinal herbs in the garden that we dry and use for cooking or use for goods like our Simple Salve.
- The YGP bunny rabbits LOVE to eat collard greens, kale, and chard amongst other greens. We usually feed them the leaves that aren’t fit for market and boy do they love ‘em.