On October 29th, Three Rivers Land Trust presented the Horticulture class at Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center with a $500 grant toward improving their greenhouse and aquaponics system. This grant was made possible through a partnership with Three Rivers Land Trust and the Cabarrus County Community Foundation.

The students, led by teacher Terry Thomas, meet each morning to oversee all aspects of selecting, planting, maintaining, and harvesting plants.  Oftentimes the produce grown in the class is sent to the cafeteria to be used for meals served to students and staff.

The horticulture class includes a certification program broken into two-week modules. These modules are designed to teach the students skills that will prepare them for a future career in horticulture. Some of the modules available to the students are Soil Science, Composting, and Greenhouse Management.

Stonewall Jackson Youth Development Center, located in Concord, NC, is a rehabilitation center designed to give at-risk youth an opportunity to continue taking high school courses or obtain their GED.

The Land Trust’s Leopold Society is designed to enlighten youth participants from grades 6 to 12 on the natural world and conservation issues. Participants learn conservation techniques, outdoor skills, and hands-on natural resource stewardship and service. They engage in outdoor recreation and skill-building activities. Many of these activities are completed independently with the intent to bring families together in the outdoors. The long-term goal of the program is to instill a lifelong love of nature in youth participants that will translate into positive action as adults.

To learn more about how you can get your school involved in the Leopold Society, or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust, contact Steely Russell at 704-647-0302 or steely@threeriverslandtrust.org