Gateway Park Gardening Program For Kids
A $4,000 grant from the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington (UUFH) will enable Huntington Station children this summer to learn about nature and healthy food through gardening at the Gateway Park Community Garden.
The donation from the Fellowship, located on Brown’s Road in Huntington, will help pay the stipends of the certified teacher and two teenage interns who will manage the program at the Tri-Community and Youth Agency (TriCYA). The total cost of the 6-week program for about 20 children is $8,000. Additional funding has been generously provided by a repeat grant from the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Foundation.
UUFH has provided grants to the Long Island Community Agriculture Network (LICAN) for the past four years. LICAN began building Gateway in 2010 with the help of dozens of community volunteers including members of UUFH. This year, LICAN has expanded its focus on educating children through gardening, assisting the Jack Abrams STEM School to begin a garden club, and arranging for use of the garden by Huntington Town’s Project Play summer day camp.
The Tri-CYA Eco-Literacy program will be in its third year this summer. The children use garden beds at Gateway to learn gardening skills, and to taste fresh, organic vegetables as they come right out of the ground. They learn to identify weeds and insect pests as well as proper planting and watering techniques.
Harvests from their gardens go home with the children to their families and are turned into snacks they eat indoors at the Tri-CYA’s drop-in center in the Big H Shopping Center, a short walk from Gateway. Last year, the children enjoyed carrot soup and pasta with basil pesto, for example.
Huntington resident Ginny Doyle-Stair will be returning as the lead teacher for the program, which begins July 7.
LICAN is fiscally sponsored by the not-for-profit Open Space Institute.