United We Serve and Green Education Foundation (GEF) Announce Partnership to Launch the 2010/11 Green Thumb Challenge Youth Gardening Program

Top Quote United We Serve and the Corporation for National and Community Service has announced a special partnership with the Green Education Foundation (GEF) to promote the Green Thumb Challenge, the largest youth gardening initiative in history. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) August 26, 2010 - Photos and insights from Green Thumb Challenge participants will be highlighted on www.serve.gov as part of a campaign to encourage more sign-ups and enlist volunteers in support of youth gardening efforts nationwide.

    GEF's Green Thumb Challenge is mobilizing schools and youth groups to plant 10,000 gardens across the country, with the aim of connecting kids with nature, encouraging service opportunities, and promoting messages of health and nutrition. GEF is partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to support their United We Serve community gardening initiative, and Clubs nationwide have joined the effort.

    The Green Thumb Challenge is sponsored by Lowe's and six of the world's leading garden suppliers, and is an official partner of the USDA MyPyramid Alliance. GEF has also teamed up with other national organizations that share its mission, including Junior Master Gardeners Association and Boy Scouts of America. One of the Green Thumb Challenge pilot gardens was planted by Cub Pack 44 of Walpole, MA. Commented Pack Leader Rich Denoyer: "Starting a garden was an effective way to foster team work and responsibility, with the added benefit of getting the boys to interact with nature on an ongoing basis."

    The Green Thumb Challenge program represents the key objectives of United We Serve - a nationwide service initiative that aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects.

    "Summer sustainability is a significant challenge for youth gardens," commented Victoria Waters, GEF CEO. "Through this partnership, schools and youth groups can register their garden project and enlist volunteer support."

    Schools and groups can get started by signing up on the Green Thumb Challenge website, www.greenthumbchallenge.org, an interactive site that supplies participants with free online resources including gardening instructions, activities, and standards-based lessons. Volunteers can register and find national opportunities for service with the Green Thumb Challenge at www.serve.gov.

    Sign up today and be eligible for GEF's $5,000 grant, awarded to an exceptional garden project! Deadline is September 30 - find details on www.greenthumbchallenge.org.

    About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
    Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides environmental education resources for Pre K-12 classrooms and youth groups nationwide. GEF believes that what is healthy for the environment is healthy for kids, and promotes learning opportunities that develop sustainable habits of environmental stewardship in children and their communities. Visit www.GreenEducationFoundation.org.

    About United We Serve
    "United We Serve" is a nationwide service initiative that will help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. With the knowledge that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when given the proper tools, President Obama is asking us to come together to help lay a new foundation for growth. Visit www.serve.gov.

    PRESS CONTACT: Jessica Drench p: 888.668.2298 e: jdrench ( @ ) greeneducationfoundation dot org

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