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Urban Garden Teaches Youth New Skills


Kansas City, MO – Gardeners in Kansas City are transforming blighted buildings and weed-filled lots into tiny urban farms. Urban agriculture projects often try to address hunger and teach city dwellers new skills. One example of this movement is Troostwood Gardens - it was started ten years ago on a corner lot donated by Rockhurst University near 52nd and Paseo. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson recently stopped by for a visit.

Erica Wright is the founder of the Troostwood Gardens and the Urban Agriculture Youth Program. She said that she was inspired to create a garden for the children who spent time at her house, and lingered at dinner time. Erica tries to encourage youth to eat foods fresh from the garden, and teaches them how to plant, prepare and preserve food. In addition the garden helps students learn reading and math skills in a hands on way. About a dozen students participate regularly in the garden. This summer, members of the Youth Volunteer Corps are pitching in to help in the Troostwood Garden while the neighborhood youth attend summer school. You can sample some of the harvest on Saturday mornings at the Troostwood Garden farmer's market on the corner of 52nd and Troost.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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