2021 Youth Garden Project

Community Impact Report


Dear YGP Supporter,

Another year of growing food, kids, and community at the Youth Garden Project has phased in and out! If your days have been similar to ours, many conversations have been had about how this year has felt like a timewarp. One thing that reminds us of the true passage of time is the gift of working within a space where the cycling of each season is palpable.

YGP has had many highlights throughout the year that we are excited to share with you in the summary that follows. To say that this year has been abundant is probably an understatement! One thing that has been significantly present this year is the work we are accomplishing with young people ages 14 and up. As YGP ages and reconnects with its roots in its 25th year, we are notably guiding emerging adults to engage with agriculture and the food system; driving them to explore their micro and macro involvement with this work in their future communities.

Over the years, YGP has also nurtured an environment conducive to human development and relationship building. In every youth and community program, for every age, the opportunity for skill building, learning communication, sharing kindness, and making positive connections with others exists. This is more important than ever. We know these opportunities for people to connect, share, and learn, are some of the greatest gifts of garden-based education.

We invite you to invest in the important work the Youth Garden Project is doing now. By doing so you are also investing in a brighter future for people and the planet. Please consider making a contribution of any size to the deeply rooted work of YGP. Your support makes a difference.

In gratitude,

Kaitlin Thomas
Outgoing Executive Director

Emily Roberson
Incoming Executive Director

Youth Garden Project’s 2021 Community Impact

Youth Program Highlights

Elementary Programs

  • 100% of Fall Flavors Afterschool Club and ⅔ of the Harvest Artist Afterschool Club students tried a new food while at YGP
  • YGP taught 88 Garden Classroom Field Trips and served 74 summer campers
  • In total YGP served 793 unduplicated Pre-K-6th grade students. Over 720 of them visited and learned at YGP more than once this year.
  • 91% of teachers said that garden-based education is effective for student learning.
  • 82% of campers made a new friend at camp
  • 88% of campers are more likely to try new fruits or vegetables after going to camp
  • 75% of campers said they would keep trying hard things at camp, even if it wasn’t easy

Secondary Programs

  • 457 middle and high school students were served in 2021
  • YGP taught Greenhouse Management for 2 periods per day!
  • 87% of students reported that after taking the high school class, they want to find out more about how the food they and their family consume is grown and help make more sustainable decisions about how they purchase food.
  • After taking Greenhouse Management, 88% of students reported that they know how to grow an edible plant from seed.
  • This fall we have two Career and Technical Education high school work-based learning interns
  • YGP taught interdisciplinary workshops for high school classes throughout the year
  • We hosted middle school cooking workshops and service-learning for 8th graders
  • 2 middle schoolers helped as “junior counselors” during summer camp!

Hear about why it matters from students, teachers, and parents:

“I enjoyed the lesson and the kids did too. It is awesome that kids get the opportunity to eat from the earth when so many of them have never eaten things out of a garden before.” HMK Elementary Teacher

“I cannot choose what my favorite thing was about Seed Crew, so I am going to name a few. First of all, I got to meet really amazing people. Everyone at YGP is so welcoming and able to help whenever it is needed. I am so happy I got to spend my summer with them! Another favorite thing about Seed Crew is that I feel very happy to have done so much great work here, which goes to a good cause. I’m glad to have a part in helping the community. Lastly, I got to learn so much about how gardens and plants work. I have a lot more knowledge that I will now be able to bring to other parts in my life, like working on my family garden.”- 2021 Seed Crew member

“My two boys, 6 and 8, who would complain about any food that didn’t come in a wrapper, are now eating fruit and vegetables with each meal, want to plan a vegetable garden for the yard, and are begging me to get them chickens so they can collect the fresh eggs!”- Summer Camp parent

“YGP encourages my child to feel free to express herself which has helped her make connections in our community as well as other places in our travels.”- Summer Camp Parent

“I really liked the hands-on learning. Being outside is better than being inside. Working with plants is an important thing to learn.”- Grand County High School Student

“My favorite thing about this class was being able to be in nature while I learned about nature itself. I enjoyed propagating plants and learning more about the process and how to properly care for plants. I felt like being in this environment helped me to really understand and see what I was learning about.” – Grand County High School Student

YGProduce Distribution
7,081 lbs harvested and counting!



  • YGP launched “Harvest of the Month” and visited each K-12 school’s cafeteria with a different harvest for 6 months
  • We started selling produce to Grand County School District again! To date, 382.5 lbs of food went to the district’s salad bar (3.7% of total harvest), with more fall crops to come!
  • 4 Weeks of a Fall CSA were added!

Community Engagement Highlights
Volunteers Make the YGP World Go Round

YGP engaged 39 youth volunteers and 234 adult volunteers

In 2021, we had 153 new volunteers & 120 returning volunteers

Youth completed 543.5 volunteer hours, and adults completed 1,108.5 hours!

4 sold out Garden Dinners, 1 Brunch, 3 Pizza Nights, 1 Harvest Festival, 1 Plant Sale, 1 Seed Swap, 1 June Jubilee, 14 Weed ‘n’ Feeds, and 2 Mulch ‘n’ Brunches!

Interested in supporting our mission in 2022? Join our community of donors!