Prepare for planting with Cougs in the Community

Spring has arrived and with it people are preparing for planting; the North County Food Bank is no different. The food bank’s garden was a joint venture between Washington State University’s 4-H extension and Clark County Juvenile Restorative Community Service.

They partnered in 2003 to create this garden as a way of giving youth offenders a healthy outlet for their required community service. Since then the garden has worked with over 1,000 juveniles, and they have grown over 16,000 pounds of food.

The program is designed to help teens feel more connection to their community, and the program believes that if they feel a stronger communal tie, they might be less likely to become repeat offenders.

“I think this program is great, it not only helps teens, but the community at large, by providing produce the food banks may not normally have access to,” said Dawn Bailey, a senior majoring in English literature at WSU Vancouver.

On Saturday, Cougs in the Community will be assisting them in moving their small garden, by planting seedlings, dismantling a small shed and moving the material for raised planting beds.

They suggest that volunteers wear warm clothing and shoes that can get dirty. While there will be some tools and vehicles on hand, they will be limited, it is recommended that volunteers bring their own tools and pickups.

Afterwards the volunteers will be heading to the Mill Creek Pub for free sandwiches to unwind. The pub is located at 1710 SW 9th Ave., Battle Ground, Wash.

The gardening will be from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Aho Family Farm, 21902 NE 189th St., Brush Prairie, Wash. Volunteers can RSVP by contacting SueAnn McWatters at sueann.mcwatters@wsu.edu or call 360-546-9600.

Students can also continue to help the food bank by volunteering to work at it. Volunteers for that will be working on a variety of things, ranging from stocking shelves, to filling food boxes, to helping with food drives. For more information on volunteering, visit the North County food bank’s website at www.nccfoodbank.org

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