Growing connection in the next generation of gardeners

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VIDEO: Young green thumbs will grow their gardening knowledge as part of a new program, Connecting Junior Gardeners.

The Connecting Junior Gardeners program was recently launched at St Peter’s Primary School in Bentleigh East. It was developed to inspire children to discover the health and wellbeing benefits of gardening, including physical exercise, connecting with nature and being mindful.

It offers classes to primary school students online and in schools, providing children with opportunities to learn more about gardening.

The classes are provided by James McLennan from Grassroots Sustainability, who teaches the young participants hands-on gardening skills.

The young people involved can also access digital materials such as videos, online activities and fact sheets, through the Victorian Schools Garden Program website.

The first young participants involved in the program at St Peters Primary relished the opportunity to get outdoors and plant seedlings like lettuce and basil.

“Coming out of the year that we’ve had through COVID, gardening plays an even more important role than what it has before, to get kids outdoors and learning about where their food comes from,” presenter James McLennan said.

Connecting Junior Gardeners is being run by Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria, the state’s peak industry body for the horticultural sector which has been cultivating excellence in the garden industry for decades.

The program is being funded through the Victorian Government’s $1.3 million Let’s Stay Connected Fund, which is providing grants between $5,000 and $200,000 to enable community organisations to launch or expand community focused projects.

The projects being supported through the Fund will reduce isolation and build community connection as Victorians take steps towards recovery from COVID-19.

Let’s Stay Connected has provided funding to 16 organisations across Metropolitan Melbourne and 23 across Regional Victoria.

For more information about the Let’s Stay Connected Fund visit,