Our Youth In-Service Program brings many different partners to learn about the Park and participate in the horticultural care and maintenance such as church groups, youth conservation corps group both nationally and locally, local green job training programs, and organizations that assist adjudicated and homeless youth in work experience programs. Projects include acequia maintenance, weed removal, tree planting, pruning, invasive species removal, composting and community garden projects
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Growing Gardens, Growing Kids — Youth learn about traditional and sustaniable gardening practices and experience planting, tending, and harvesting from food gardens. Experiences are designed to promote a love of local foods and healthy eating. Alvord Elementary planned and planted a vegetable garden in 2010, with participation in food gardens from Earth Care International, Santa Fe High School, and NM School for the Deaf and other schools and youth groups. Funded in part by the New Mexico Department of Health’s Healthy Kids program.
Green Job Training — Provide opportunities for youth to learn skills regarding xeric landscaping, plant care, and acequia maintenance. Partnered with YouthWorks.
Youth Volunteer Projects — Youth groups develop a sense of caring for the park and experience the value of community service through gardening in the park while learning about native, xeric and edible plants. For example, The NM School for the Deaf joined us on Earth Day to volunteer in the park and plant vegetables.
It’s My Railyard — Tours and activities for youth groups to provide an understanding of Railyard history, park design, plants, and the role of parks in city life.
I have only high praise for the Railyard Park Conservancy outdoor classroom program. Our teachers, Eliza Kretzmann and Paul Navrot, were awesome and very kind to the students. Highlights for me were the lessons on the history of the acequias, the waffle garden, and the traditional Native American Three Sisters garden. Planting and watering in the Community Waffle Garden was a great experience for everyone involved. It was extremely rewarding for the students to harvest and taste the vegetables they grew themselves.
– Gail Dorsett, teacher for the Santa Fe Public Schools