The Highland Youth Garden is a .4 acre community garden focused on giving children the opportunity to learn and grow through gardening. We offer a diverse learning environment for children by giving them the opportunity to grow their own food in a hands on setting. We serve approximately 300 students from Highland Elementary and the Columbus Bi-Lingual Academy during the school year and as many as 200 young people each week during the summer.
A curriculum developed by a team including one of our master gardeners, The Ohio State University Franklin County Extension Service, and teachers from Highland Elementary School is the basis for the educational programming provided at the garden. This garden curriculum is aligned with Common Core, New Generation Science Standards (NGSS), as well as with the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) priorities of Highland Elementary School and The Educational Academy for Boys and Girls. Students are in the garden weekly for “real world” science lessons and the opportunity to learn more about their environment. Additionally, summer youth activities are coordinated with the Shalom Zone (a community coalition focused on improving lives of local youth), The Educational Academy for Boys and Girls, the Buckeye Ranch, the Dowd Center, and other summer youth programs around Central Columbus. Highland Youth Garden also provides the opportunity for children to participate in the Westgate Farmer’s Market on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month and hosts monthly Community Celebrations that provide healthy, garden-inspired meals for children and neighbors and a place for the community to gather.