Applications being accepted for children’s gardening program at Hardberger Park

Writer: Paul Schattenberg, 210-859-5752, paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu

Contact: David Rodriguez, 210-631-0400, dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu

SAN ANTONIO – Applications are being accepted for participation in the spring Phil Hardberger Park Children’s Vegetable Garden program at the historic Voelcker Homestead inside Phil Hardberger Park, 13203 Blanco Road, San Antonio, said program coordinators.

The Phil Hardberger Park Children’s Vegetable Garden is a collaboration of San Antonio Parks and Recreation, the Phil Hardberger Park Conservancy, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Bexar County Master Gardeners association. It received first place from the Texas Master Gardener Association in the organization’s 2016 Search for Excellence Awards.

“This is a program where children 7 to 14 years old can get their hands dirty as they learn every aspect of gardening from planting to tending the plants to harvesting the vegetables,” said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension horticulturist for Bexar County and a program coordinator.

Rodriguez said during the program Bexar County Master Gardeners volunteers assist children through hands-on gardening instruction and provide lessons related to their gardening activities.

Classes meet from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays from Feb. 20 to June 5. Children are expected to attend all 16 sessions, though two absences are allowed, and wear appropriate clothing for the weather and garden work.

“Children not only learn to garden, they learn about personal responsibility, agriculture and horticulture, nutrition and respect for nature,” Rodriguez said.

He said the agency’s Junior Master Gardener curriculum will be used for instruction with the  youth gardening experiences.

“We also want parents to be active in the program and their child’s garden experience and work together with our section volunteers where appropriate, but let their children do the work,” he said. “Most of all, everyone should have fun while learning.”

The cost is $75 per garden plot and up to three children in a family may share a plot. For individual registration, go to http://bit.ly/2DzJqjf. For group registration, http://bit.ly/2DHiIZh.

There will be a parent-guardian orientation from 9-10:30 a.m. and volunteer orientation from 10:30 to noon Feb. 13.

For more information, contact Rodriguez at 210-631-0400 or dhrodriguez@ag.tamu.edu or Susan Campbell at susan.campbell@sanantonio.gov.

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