Program provides horticulture projects for youth, families and educators

The Youth Horticulture Education Program (YHEP) is a program of Clark County Extension. The program offers horticulture projects for youth, families and educators, in collaboration with community volunteers and partners. More on knowledge development projects

cilantor plants

Projects provide professional, knowledge and workforce development

Workforce Development
 

Each YHEP project is tailored to address the educational needs and grade levels of specific target audiences. From basic gardening and composting to workforce and professional development, YHEP projects promote life-skill development through hands-on learning.

More on workforce development projects

 

Program welcomes community volunteers and partners

Community Engagement

YHEP partners with people and agencies to increase horticulture, outdoor STEM and related knowledge in our community. We provide community partners with research, professional development and horticulture instruction. For example, we work with Green Our Planet to increase knowledge of horticulture, nutrition and conservation of natural resources among Pre-K to 12th grade students. Other community partners include garden project schools, apartment-style residences, faith-based endeavors, community centers, associations, private sector organizations, public institutions and more.

More on professional development projects

 
 

Knowledge Development Projects

Junior Master Gardener

Description: A program modeled after the Master Gardener Program and offers S.T.E.M. through horticulture education, leadership and life-skills development through fun and creative activities. The Junior Master Gardener (JMG) curriculum is the premier youth gardening curriculum of the Extension Network.
Audience: Elementary and Middle School
Issue: The Junior Master Gardener curriculum, created by Texas A&M Extension is a peer-reviewed national youth horticulture program. Expansion of the JMG program in Clark County (and the State) is desired. The JMG program addresses gardening and healthy eating objectives described in a variety of county and state strategic plans and federal frameworks.
What has been done: Adult volunteer leaders (after school staff, teachers, Master Gardeners, community youth group leaders, volunteers/parents) deliver the JMG program to youth in a variety of educational environments including schools, community centers, and at the youth gardens of Cooperative Extension.
Partners: C.C.S.D., Green Our Planet, Master Gardener Program, 4-H

After school Garden Clubs

Description: YHEP provides educational resources to School Garden Clubs
Audience: All grade levels
Issue: School garden sustainability can be a challenge with arid terrain and limited water resources.
What has been done: YHEP offers educational support with Extension network curriculum such as Junior Master Gardener and Wat(er) Our Chances.

Food for Thought Field Trips

Description: Interactive horticulture activities for elementary and middle school students that address Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math concepts (S.T.E.M.).
Audience: Elementary and Middle School
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has two gardens designed as outdoor classrooms for youth. The Botanic Gardens of Cooperative Extension offer an array of dessert plants and gardening styles not offered on school grounds with or without garden beds.
What has been done: Interactive stations have been developed and refined to guide students through understanding why gardens are useful and how gardening is an important component to nutrition.

Hydroponics in the Classroom

Description: Hydroponics education and resources for youth, their families and educators provided in a variety of educational settings.
Audience: Middle School and High School
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (Southern Area) has not been a contributing resource for growing interest in hydroponics education. In an effort to be a relevant community partner in the area of hydroponics for urban agriculture academic discussion, the hydroponics project was created.
What will be done: Develop public educational materials and demonstrations for families and the community and in support of existing programs in order to generate interest in hydroponic gardening, horticulture in general and especially for youth horticulture education.
Partners: Under development

School Gardens Basic Support

Description: To assist teachers and community leaders with finding answers to gardening questions.
Audience: Garden coordinators for all school grade levels and other youth education environments.
Issue: Started with development of gardens and ongoing support. Specific needs fluctuate with schools, but sustainability remains the top issue to be addressed.
What has been done:Assistance ranging from verbal communication to sharing of educational resources have been provided to develop youth garden programs in a variety of educational environments.
Partners: C.C.S.D. and other schools

Hand in Hand Partnerships

Description: Partnership between the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and community partners provide comprehensive support for outdoor S.T.E.M. education through garden projects schools, apartment style residences, faith-based endeavors, and community centers.
Audience: Community Partners: individuals, associations, private sector organizations, public institutions
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has academic faculty, trained staff, and volunteers who specialize in an array of community programming from horticulture to public health who can provide research, professional development and instruction about horticulture to complementing agencies.
What has been done: An example of a current partnership involves an agreement between the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and Green Our Planet to increase the knowledge of horticulture, nutrition, and the conservation of natural resources among Pre K-12th grade students.

Hand in Hand Partnerships

Description: Partnership between the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and community partners provide comprehensive support for outdoor S.T.E.M. education through garden projects schools, apartment style residences, faith-based endeavors, and community centers.
Audience: Community Partners: individuals, associations, private sector organizations, public institutions
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has academic faculty, trained staff, and volunteers who specialize in an array of community programming from horticulture to public health who can provide research, professional development and instruction about horticulture to complementing agencies.
What has been done: An example of a current partnership involves an agreement between the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and Green Our Planet to increase the knowledge of horticulture, nutrition, and the conservation of natural resources among Pre K-12th grade students.

 

Workforce Development Projects

Title I Schools

Description: YHEP actively engages with of schools within CCSD where educational resources for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are limited although federal subsidies are granted
Audience: All grade levels
Issue: School garden sustainability can be a challenge with arid terrain and limited water resources
What has been done: YHEP uses horticulture curricula to increase student interest in STEM

Probation Youth Project

Description: Horticulture Education Program for youth in local probation program
Audience: Elementary and Middle School
Issue: Probation youth ages 14-18 who require extra supervision during non-school hours can develop life skills in outdoor garden classrooms. Youth engage in career exploration, life skills and complete court mandated community service hours.
What has been done:Youth on probation receive horticulture education instruction by Master Gardeners and staff at Cooperative Extension youth gardens.
Partners: Evening Reporting Center, Master Gardeners

Incarcerated Youth Project

Description: Horticulture Education Program for Incarcerated Youth.
Audience: Youth housed in detention facilities
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (Southern Area) has not been a contributing resource for growing interest in hydroponics education. In an effort to be a relevant community partner in the area of hydroponics for urban agriculture academic discussion, the hydroponics project was created.
What has been done: Maximum security facility for males ages 12 to 19. Collaboration between the Division of Child and Family Services and Clark County School District provides required and elective academic subjects, remedial programs, special education programs, vocational programs, and interscholastic activities.
Partners: Summit View Youth Correctional Center

Horticulture for Students With Special Needs

Description: Horticulture Education for Partners for a Collaborative Education (P.A.C.E.) and Post-Secondary Opportunities for Students in Transition (P.O.S.T.).
Audience: Students with special needs in P.A.C.E. and P.O.S.T. programs.
Issue: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has academic faculty, trained staff, and volunteers who specialize in an array of community programming from horticulture to public health who can provide research, professional development and instruction about horticulture to complementing agencies.
What has been done: YHEP staff is in the process of refining a Special Needs Horticulture Curriculum.

Workforce Development

Description: Job skills training program for high school students and young adults.
Audience: High School
Issue: Career centers seek partnerships with businesses that can provide hands-on training in horticulture for their clients.
What has been done:New program created to help career center clients develop horticulture and problem solving skills.
Partners: One Stop Career Center and C.C.S.D. Special Education programs

 

Professional Development Projects

Career Units

Description: 3-Hour Contact Unit and 15 hour Professional Development focused on youth horticulture education.
Audience: Elementary and Middle School
Issue: C.C.S.D. teachers are required to meet objectives for the Nevada Academic Content Standards. Knowledge about basic horticulture is useful when creating S.T.E.M. related lesson plans for outdoor instruction.
What has been done: Each PDE/CU takes place at an elementary school with a garden. Teachers from surrounding schools are invited to participate. Topics include "Gardening Basics" and "Composting with and without earthworms."

Family and Community Engagement

Description: Direct and indirect education for the general public is delivered at public events.
Audience: General public
Issue: There is a growing needs for policy, system, and environmental (PSE) approaches to education. Examples of PSE approaches that complement direct or indirect include using digital or social media to promote access and appeal for healthy food outlets, urban agriculture gardens and farmers markets.
What has been done: YHEP staff have increased access to youth horticulture education through these social media outlets

 

Program Advisory Board

Youth Horticulture Education Program Advisory Board

Description: The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program is committed to expanding horticulture education opportunities to youth and adults who work with youth. To improve our programs, Angela O'Callaghan, Ph.D., Social Horticulture Specialist and Associate Professor University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, has requested the creation of a Youth Horticulture Education Program Advisory Committee. To be connected with educational resources in Southern Nevada, O'Callaghan and her youth horticulture staff believe that the opportunity to provide input about the development of our youth research gardens be extended to shareholders of Cooperative Extension. Shareholders include Master Gardeners, and representatives from University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, The University of Nevada Reno, The University of Las Vegas, DRI, and the Clark County School District.

Board memberships is comprised of people with respected knowledge and experience in Horticulture and or community-based prevention. By serving on this committee, members have the opportunity to devise an educational plan for youth horticulture, address safety, maintenance, pest management, irrigation, education events, tours, and accommodations required by the Americans Disability Act.

The Youth Horticulture Education Program Advisory Committee meet monthly.

 
News Articles, Fact Sheets, Reports...
sweet potatoes
Growing Sweet Potatoes in the Desert
Sweet potatoes easily grow in the desert and provide necessary vitamins and nutrients. By implementing the proper gardening techniques, everyone can enjoy the tasty treat. Sweet potatoes like a hot growing season, making southern Nevada an ideal place for them.
Wynne, T., Callaghan, A. 2017, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Fact Sheet FS-17-02
wooden raised bed
Raised Beds Can Make Gardening Easier
How to use raised beds to make gardening easier!
O'Callaghan, A. 2010, Extension, University of Nevada, Reno, FS-10-33

Learn more about the program's team

Tricia Braxton Perry
Program Leader & Contact
Angela O'Callaghan
Program Leader & Contact
Ian Ford-Terry
Program Contact
Nicole Hansen
Program Contact