Belleville Community Garden Story

"This gives our members an opportunity to serve."
- Pam, Y Member Volunteer

Name of Project: Belleville Community Garden
YMCA: YMCA of Southwest Illinois, Belleville, IL
Parnter: The Belleville High School District 201 Extended Program
Date: Summer 2014

Building Skills Together

The Extended Program is a vocational program designed to provide life-skills training and on-the-job training to students with disabilities ages 18-22 years old. The community garden is run by volunteers of the YMCA of Southwest Illinois in partnership with the Extended Program to teach these students how to grow and harvest fruits and vegetables, manage tools and work with one another.

Growing Power Through Partnerships

Y member volunteers have come out to the garden throughout the growing season to work alongside the students at every stage of the growing process. From planting day, to weeding, general maintenance and harvest, the Y member volunteers have taken the lead on this project, helping support this important partnership for the community.

Data:

  • 198 member volunteers served this year
  • 45 special needs young adult students tend the garden alongside volunteers
  • 850 lbs of food were harvested

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.