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 Gardening Club Donates to JCCS Horticulture Program

​Students in East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility will be able to learn even more about horticulture in an expanded garden thanks to a generous donation from a local gardening club.

The Mission Hills Garden Club recently donated $3,000 to the San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools. The money will support horticulture classes there, giving students more hands-on lessons with environmental science, biology, botany, and entrepreneurial skills.

The money will pay for plants and materials as well as educational materials.

The Mission Hills Garden Club is a group of neighbors and friends with an interest in gardening and community aesthetics in the San Diego neighborhood.

The garden at East Mesa Juvenile Detention Facility was created several years ago. Another one was built about a year ago at the Girls Rehabilitation Facility in San Diego, which houses another of San Diego County Office of Education’s Juvenile Court and Community Schools.

The gardens offer a peaceful place where students can go to relax, learn and connect with nature.

The gardening program, called Growing Opportunities, is a cooperative undertaking of the county Probation Department, San Diego County Office of Education, and the University of California Cooperative Extension.

While tending to the plants in the garden, students learn about science, teamwork, empathy and various aspects of gardening. Studies have shown that gardening can help people of all ages in a variety of ways, including enhancing cognitive functioning, improving concentration, increasing attention span, boosting self-esteem, and reducing stress.