Down to Earth
Gardening is proven to be an effective therapeutic tool that is known to decrease stress levels and anxiety. This sense of peace helps our students face their frustrations and challenges while giving them a positive outlet for their expression. In a therapeutic sense, if students enjoy the fruits of their labor, they are more inclined to complete and enjoy their personal goals.
Down to Earth teaches students that growing a garden is like growing into a man or a woman. This powerful analogy gives students a sense of purpose by working with the earth and planting seeds that result in an abundance that is tangible in their own lives. Down to Earth is taught at Probation Camp schools throughout Los Angeles County and at New Earth’s Arts & Leadership Center.
Down to Earth is based on the California Biology Standards and also provides job training skills in horticulture and landscaping by teaching about tools, equipment, and techniques. Throughout the course, our young people gain understanding about sustainability, basic plant care, soil composition, composting, assembling window boxes and container gardens, vegetable and herb gardening, garden design, and garden installation.
“I love this class because I’m learning that I can make healthy choices in what I eat. Now I’m starting to understand that I have choices in how I act and react in situations, too. This class has been a great experience.”
“I’m learning how to plant vegetables and survival skills. I’m learning new things about plants that I never knew before and it’s given me a new respect for nature.”
“This class gives me training on how to become a gardener or landscaper. I learn techniques on how to plant and treat plants properly. After experiencing this class, I want to start my own gardening business.”
“THERE HASN’T BEEN A YOUNG PERSON TODAY THAT WOULD RAISE THEIR HAND AND SAY, ‘YEAH, JAIL WORKED FOR ME.’ WE HAVE TO START WITH THE YOUNG PEOPLE, WE HAVE TO START WITH THE YOUTH.”