Big Brothers Big Sisters of McKean County Learn About “Good Growing Gardens”

Smethport Web — by Annie Wolfe

Big Brothers Big Sisters of McKean County at Good Growing Gardens in Smethport.Big Brothers Big Sisters of McKean County facilitated a summer group event on July 5th hosted by McKean County Probation’s Good Growing Gardens in Smethport.

Educational activities included a presentation and discussion by Adult Probation Officer Mike Barnard about the history of the grounds, originally the site of Smethport’s Poor Farm, created in 1884 to house and rehabilitate indigent persons.

Officer Barnard also discussed the mission of Good Growing Gardens which is to provide community service opportunities to offenders in the criminal justice system, help offset the cost of meals for inmates housed in the McKean County Jail, and to provide volunteer opportunities and organic vegetables and flowers to the local community as well.

Participants enjoyed a “hands on” learning and community service opportunity with Officer Barnard by planting and watering sunflowers. Participants also learned the basics of gardening and were given a tour of the grounds.

After the garden tour participants met at the Smethport Family Center and learned about proper hand washing techniques, balanced nutrition, and created and enjoyed personalized ‘veggie pizzas’. For their work in the garden, participants gratefully accepted an Aloe Vera plant to take home.

The event concluded with participants creating a summer journalng craft with their Big or parent.

If you would like to experience this kind of mentoring opportunity with a child in your community, please contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of McKean County locally at 887-5591 or toll free at 1-877-776-1636.