Great Explorations Children’s Museum and MoM, Inc. have launched the Midtown Community Youth Garden in St. Petersburg
Who: Great Explorations Children’s Museum has partnered with MoM, Inc. to create the Midtown
Community Youth Garden in St. Petersburg, Florida. We are targeting students ages 12-15 in the ZIP codes most
affected by the midtown St. Pete food desert, specifically 33712, 33705, and 33711.
What: The Midtown Community Youth Garden is a free program designed to not only teach middle-high school aged
students the essential function of sustainable living and eating healthy, but also sparking an interest in giving back to
their communities in need. During the students' eight-week program, they embark on a personal growth journey that
is represented in the edible plants they are growing such as bush beans, watermelons, okra, and marigolds. Local
partners are invited to give educative presentations on a range of topics, from the importance of conservation efforts
to how technology is used in agriculture.
When: This program runs from June 7th to September 2nd, catering to a target goal of 70 students in Pinellas County that meet once a week for an eight-week program with their designated cohorts.
Where: The Midtown Community Youth Garden shares a space with other wonderful local providers at the Midtown
Wellness Center on the corner of 15th Ave S and 22nd St S in the 33712 ZIP code.
Why: Planting and growing their own food shows students the importance of dedication, hard work, and
entrepreneurship as they get to take ownership of their progress towards community engagement. By the end of
their experience, the goal is that students take with them new knowledge on how they can become integral providers
of healthy habits in their underserved communities, teaching others along the way.
Ana Maria Quintero, CEO and Founder of Laica Worms, says this when talking about vermiculture and working with
the garden students:
I am happy to hear that everyone is very interested in vermiculture, it is a special skill that not only helps keep waste away from landfills but also teaches love for worms and care for the Earth. Soil has been heavily depleted and worm farming can help fix that sustainability as these little bioreactors turn food waste into gold (worm castings) that our Earth needs... Teaming up with Great Explorations Children's Museum has been a rewarding experience for everyone, in my opinion.
From my perspective when helping at the garden once a week, it is an incredible opportunity to teach kids what could lie ahead for them in their future careers or passions in the best way possible - through exploration and piquing their curiosity. It builds their confidence up by providing them with key knowledge about geography, mathematics, scientific observation, and more. They don't even realize they're learning as they go, and that's a good indicator that we are doing it right. I look forward to seeing how much they've grown by the end of their summer programs.
On August 6th from 10am-12pm, the Midtown Community Youth Garden will hold a capstone event to celebrate the
students’ completion of the project and to thank our community partners/sponsors. The students who participated in
the youth garden over the summer will donate and sell their plants and homemade items at this event.
The Midtown Community Youth Garden is fully funded and made possible by a grant awarded to Great Explorations
Children’s Museum from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We’d also like to thank our sponsors and
community partners, UF/IFAS, Laica Worms, Earthsong, and Little Tree.
Media Contact: Kim Stockton, Marketing & PR Manager, Great Explorations Children’s Museum
(727) 821-8992 ext. 220 | email@example.com
About Great Explorations Children’s Museum:
Great Explorations Children’s Museum has served the children and families of the Tampa Bay area since 1987. Designed for
children 10 and under, the 23,000 square foot museum is filled with exhibits and activities to stimulate learning through
creativity, play, and exploration. This AAM–Accredited children’s museum also offers a national award-winning preschool,
camps, field trips, and community outreach programs.
Location: 1925 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33704
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12pm–4pm.
For more information, please visit greatex.org
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and
museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through
grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to
transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us
on Facebook and Twitter.
IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be
inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage.