Youthbuild plants a garden

Published 5:44 am Saturday, April 22, 2017

Students with the Youthbuild program in Bogalusa are doing their part to improve the exterior of their classroom, while also providing the surrounding community with healthy fruits and vegetables.

Youthbuild is the division of Northshore Technical College that provides technical training and HiSET certification. Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 24 and cannot have completed high school.

The offices are located at 1242 Austin St., and students in the program spent Friday outside those offices, working on what they are calling Youthbuild Bogalusa’s “Garden of Eden.”

Michael O’Ree, a counselor with Youthbuild, said the garden will grow a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, plums, pears, satsumas, red beans, cucumbers, corn and watermelons.

He said that the garden project is in conjunction with both AmeriCorps Global Youth Service Day (April 21-23) and Earth Day, which is Saturday.

“Eventually, we’re going to have a cookout for the neighborhood that’s around the Youthbuild building,” O’Ree said.

O’Ree said that the Youthbuild students will harvest the produce and serve it in dishes, as well as offer the local citizens some fresh fruit and vegetables to take home.

O’Ree said that the group was inspired to take on the garden project, after seeing the recent focus on healthy eating in Bogalusa through programs like the new farmers’ market and Eat Fit-Washington Parish.

For more information on the Youthbuild program, call 985-732-6878 or visit the offices at 1242 Austin St.