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UF/IFAS Extension Broward 4-H granted $10K from Glick Philanthropies to expand nutrition, gardening project for residents amid COVID-19

UF/IFAS 4-H among 107 organizations selected for $820K Community Relief Fund

DAVIE, Fla. – With COVID-19, thousands of reports have risen to the surface documenting the challenges of individuals and communities affected by the global virus. The virus has also awakened a thirst for communities to return to the great outdoors and explore community gardening.

A youth herb and vegetable garden project in Broward County that blossomed with a little seed money and a few helping hands before coronavirus hit South Florida, has been given continued funding to keep it thriving despite COVID-19.

A variety of raised beds were developed by volunteers and 4-H leaders to teach the children how to grow herbs and vegetables in their own backyard.

The UF/IFAS Extension Broward County 4-H Youth Development Program has received a $10,000 grant from the Glick Community Relief Fund, a grant program of Glick Philanthropies, to help local nonprofit organizations continue to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The grant to the 4-H Program award at UF/IFAS Extension Broward County was one of 107 grants, totaling $821,600 to organizations supporting communities during this time of heightened demand. Organizations were nominated by Gene B. Glick Company employees. Qualifying organizations were then asked to complete an application.

“Glick Philanthropies is committed to building strong, vibrant communities where the Gene B. Glick Company operates,” said David Barrett, vice chair, president and CEO of the Glick Family Foundation. “A strong community means access to safe, affordable housing, programs to meet the basic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors and initiatives that deepen our connection through the arts.”

“Many of our neighbors face challenges associated with the coronavirus, but there are organizations doing heroic work to help. We’re proud to support these organizations through the Glick Community Relief Fund so they can continue to build community and create opportunity,” said Barrett.

In September 2018, UF/IFAS Extension Broward County 4-H, with the help of the Extension Broward Master Gardener Volunteer Program and teen volunteers, launched a weekly educational program for youth at Cambridge Square of Lauderdale Lakes. The program’s primary goal served to promote healthy nutrition and a connection to the outdoors through activities that included gardening and art.

Community children decorated tiles of the herbs and vegetables that they were getting ready to plant.

More than 30 children and families in the community participated in the program. It was held as an afterschool activity once children were dropped off by Broward County Public School transportation to the apartment community. Cambridge Square of Lauderdale Lakes is managed by the Gene B. Glick Company.

“Sometimes it’s the simplest of activities that engage youth to explore science, foster a sense of belonging, promote connection with the outdoors and urge gardening in their own backyard,” said Karen Rice-David, 4-H Agent at UF/IFAS Extension Broward. “We installed a raised bed garden filled with herbs, and we held weekly gardening activities that involved creating tile art of herbs and plants while making observations of natural surroundings. This promoted connecting with the outdoors and a healthy wellbeing which is something that can be optimized especially during this time.”

COVID-19 interrupted the weekly community garden and healthy living education. With the additional support from Glick Philanthropies, the 4-H Youth Development Program in Broward will be able to continue the momentum it started. The first step is to provide residents with grab and go windowsill garden kits, enhance the existing community garden while conducting virtual lessons on gardening.

If you’d like information about supporting youth and families through 4-H in your community, please contact Caylin Hilton with Florida 4-H at grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu or 352-392-5432. To get involved with 4-H in your area, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office by visiting http://florida4h.org/getinvolved/. For more information about UF/IFAS Extension Broward County 4-H’s work, please visit https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/broward-4-h-youth-development/

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By: Lourdes Rodriguez, 954-577-6363 office, 954-242-8439 mobile, rodriguezl@ufl.edu 

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human, and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries and all Florida residents.

ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS

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