Youth Community Gardening Programming as Community Development: The Youth for EcoAction Program in Winnipeg, Canada

Stephanie Fulford, Shirley Thompson

Abstract


The Youth for EcoAction (YEA) program is a project of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg involving at-risk youth. This community development program focuses on urban agriculture and community gardening and was developed using the Circle of Courage pedagogy. The program was analyzed through participatory methods. YEA youth interns built skills, improved self-esteem, increased environmental awareness, enhanced food security, and fostered their own social networks to help counter the attraction to gangs and dealing with other issues. Benefits were also felt at a broader community level, through positive environmental, social, and physical changes. Youth-serving agencies, community development organizations, and government policy makers could look to the YEA as a model for youth empowerment and community revitalization.

Le programme Youth for EcoAction (YEA) pour les jeunes à risque est l’œuvre des Clubs garçons et filles de Winnipeg. Il met l’accent sur l’agriculture urbaine et le jardinage communautaire. Les Clubs ont développé YEA en recourant à la pédagogie du Cercle du courage. Pour analyser ce programme, les auteurs de cet article ont employé une méthode participative. Pour les jeunes, les bénéfices de YEA incluent le développement de compétences, une sécurité alimentaire accrue et la formation de réseaux qui les aident à échapper à la tentation des gangs et autres problèmes. À un niveau communautaire, les bénéfices comprennent des améliorations environnementales, sociales et physiques. Pour les agences jeunesse, les organismes de développement communautaire et les stratèges gouvernementaux, le programme YEA peut servir de modèle d’autonomisation des jeunes et de revitalisation de la communauté.


Keywords


youth gardening programs; community gardens; youth employment centres,

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjnser.2013v4n2a145

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