Digging Deep at Lake Superior Village
By Megan Gerou | August 4, 2011
The Y programs at the Lake Superior Village Youth and Family Center (YFSC) have gotten greener this year. The YFSC is run by the YMCA under contract with the Marquette Housing Commission, who also owns the building. The Commission matches funds up to $25,000.00 annually in support of operations at the YFSC. Additionally, funding help from the Marquette County Health Department, Kohl’s and Youth Serve America, United Health Heroes grants have supported a community garden project called “Digging Deep,” which involved the installation of four 4 foot by 18 foot raised garden beds last summer near the Youth and Family Center. The community garden project “Digging Deep” offers residents of Lake Superior Village a chance to have a garden in their own back yards.
Youth at the center have been involved this year with starting some garden plants from seed in April, designing the four garden beds, and choosing which plants they’d like to include. Weeding the beds before planting was a big job, but tackled with many hands. In mid June, plants and seeds were started, and they are well on their way to maturity. In the Healthy Snack program at the center, youth will get to pick, prepare and eat many nutritious plants including lettuce, radishes, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, and more. It’s a real benefit to know where your food has come from, and this is one of the lessons the youth learn. Other goals of the program include nutritional education, getting kids active outside, and being a positive contributor to the community.
One resident Dad noted that the Youth Center environment, including the community garden, is a safe and educational place for children to feel like they are a part of something. He said “The programs offered at the Center offer consistency and control into the lives of the youth participants. The community garden project has taught the youth about responsibilities and the hard work it takes to weed, water, and take care of plants. The garden has been an opportunity for the families to spend time together and share a common bond.”
Eric Erland, Executive Director of the Marquette Housing Commision is very pleased with the YMCA arrangement and believes Sue Belanger and staff are to be commended for their effort and hard work at the YFSC in support of the children and families at Lake Superior Village.
For more information about the “Digging Deep” garden project, please contact Sue Belanger, LSVYFC Supervisor at 228-3771.Back