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Salt River Group Home Builds Garden From the Ground Up

Youth from the Salt River group home are excited about their garden and constantly check on their vegetable garden during the garden party on April 27.

On Wednesday, April 27, a celebration was held at a group home in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to mark the completion of a brand-new vegetable garden. Through a grant from the Salt River Children’s Foundation, youth at the group home can call the garden their own.

Home Depot, along with SRPMIC government departments including Youth Services, the Cultural Resources Department, Public Works and various other departments, worked hand-in-hand for months to build a garden for the youth. This included bringing planting material into the backyard, building the garden beds, running a sprinkler system, planting seeds and more. Everyone worked on the project as a team.

Throughout the celebration, youth were excited and anxious to show off their new garden to those in attendance. The youth visited each section and proudly showed off their tepary beans, as well as tomatoes, corn, squash and pumpkins. Youth were also particularly proud of the hand-painted signs they created to label each item in their garden.

Various SRPMIC departments chipped in to help a Salt River group home build a garden to call their very own.
In the process of planning and building the garden, the youth are gaining knowledge of science, math, nutrition, design experiments, giving back to the Community, community resilience, life skills, social skills and environmental awareness. They are also learning how the O’odham/Piipaash cultivated gardens and farmed for centuries around the Valley. Their culture and traditions are tied into the garden, and these are things the youth can cherish as young gardeners.

“This garden is a way to provide a place [where] the children in the group home can go to learn all about gardening and what it has to offer them,” said Stephan Lucas from the group homes. “This is a place where they can help and also feel successful watching their plants grow. I can’t wait until they are able to pick from their garden and enjoy their own fresh produce that they helped to care for.”