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Youth Community Greening

Youth Community Greening is an environmental education program targeting disadvantaged urban and regional youth from preschool to young adults across NSW.

For ten years, Youth Community Greening (YCG) has operated as the offspring of Community Greening which was established in 1999. Educators help youth and teachers connect with the natural environment and experience the joys of being outdoors and gardening.

Youth Community Greening (YCG) commenced in 2008 and is an outreach environmental education program targeting disadvantaged youth from birth to 25 years across the State. YCG is a partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Bloomberg and the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens.

YCG delivers the program while Bloomberg and the Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens provides financial support, input into strategic development, and in-kind support of plants and products. The program inspires the appreciation and conservation of plants and the environment. Educators help youth, teachers and community connect with the natural environment and experience the joys of being outdoors and gardening.

YCG assists disadvantaged preschools, schools, migrant youth groups, Youth off the Streets, Juvenile Justice Centres, and young people with disabilities through helping create productive school and community gardens and green landscapes. The program also delivers syllabus-linked environmental classroom and outdoor activities at schools and centres across NSW.

Outcomes include:
  • Building self-esteem and resilience in vulnerable youth
  • Create opportunities for young people to connect with nature
  • Increase youth ownership of public places
  • Educate young people about healthy lifestyle choices
  • Provide and develop gardening skills and enhance employment opportunities
  • Green the urban environment and promote sustainable lifestyles
  • Promote sustainability through garden programs in schools and youth centres
  • Provide training opportunities for staff involved with disadvantaged youth

Why target youth

Children (0-14 year olds) and young people (15-25 year olds) face many challenges for the future, including finding their identity in an uncertain and changing world. They experience peer group pressure and have to deal with social, employment and financial issues.

Young people are readily influenced by their environment and their personal development is shaped by their experiences with family, friends, school and community. They are also affected by their surroundings - the built and natural environment. Many young people today are growing up with few opportunities to connect with nature. 

Children have a natural affinity towards nature. Dirt, water, plants, and small animals attract and hold children’s attention for hours, days, even a lifetime. The Youth Community Program gives young people the opportunity to experience this natural affinity which is too often lacking in this day.

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