Youth Horticulture Education Program Home

Youth Horticulture Education

Garden-based education for youth, families & educators

Extension has a long history of providing school garden support, field trips and garden-based learning for youth. Extension, Clark County's horticulture department established one of the county's first school gardens programs back in 2002!

The Youth Horticulture Education Program (YHEP), designed in 2017, expands on previous efforts to now offer a sustainable four-corner garden-based learning approach for all of Clark County’s youth environments. The program offers horticulture projects for youth, families and educators in collaboration with community volunteers and partners. 

Using a four-corner approach, YHEP delivers:

  • knowledge development
  • career readiness
  • professional development
  • basic garden support for youth environments.

The four-corner approach allows YHEP to permeate through all levels of the ecological model for positive youth development.

For more information, email the program team.


"Always enjoy our visits to the garden. The staff is always kind and professional. I like that they take the time to ensure all of our students get to participate in the lesson and give them ample opportunities to learn and work hands-on in the garden."  Kayla F., High School Teacher- CCSD

"Because of the JMG program and the outstanding support from the Las Vegas staff, my students have had the opportunity to participate in activities that are engaging and enhances their learning.  Not only does the JMG curriculum address academics, but it also provides opportunities for students to explore career opportunities, develop employability skills, and meet post-secondary transition goals. Thank you, Nicole and Tricia, for all your help and support."  Linda D., CCSD Special Education Teacher

"I am thrilled to be able to work with the staff at YHEP in Las Vegas. They are the hardest working, most devoted, and knowledgeable leaders I could ever imagine. They spend so much time planning and preparing for every event and it always is a success.  The only criticism is that there are not enough of them. The demand is there. We have a tremendous need in Southern Nevada for horticulture education for our kids. We need to grow this department. There is tremendous demand and it is essential that these young people have the kind of instruction that they get from our YHEP group at UNR of Southern Nevada."  Michelle D., Master Gardener

"The JMG program has been a wonderful learning experience for my Kindergarten students. They have learned so much about plants and water and soils. They have gone from "never dirty divas" to " dirt lovers!" It has been a great transition for them, and it has worked cross-curricular as well."     Carrie R., Elementary School Teacher- Private school

"Over 90% of students involved in [Summit View Youth Center] have never been exposed to horticulture and are completely unaware of how plants and food are grown. Students report the most astounding outcome from the class is being able to plant and monitor growth. There is a sense of real achievement in seeing a plant mature, especially when it is directly related to their oversight.  [YHEP] develops a sense of responsibility and pride with a positive outcome. Garden to plate - the ability to eat food directly from the garden is a real "AHA" moment.  The last class made salsa, salads, etc. which was something most had never done."  Lynne R., Department of Juvenile Justice Services

Photo gallery 

children learning about hydroponics Nicole with JMG Kids Ian havesting from hydroponics unit JMG Official Logo YHEP Volunteers Learn, Grow, Eat & Go! JMG logo Tricia with JMG Co-Author Lisa Whittlesy JMG Making Paper JMG Youth at Clark County Fair Healthy Eating Children learning in the gardenJMG Mojave Kids with RadishesJMG Kids planting in YHEP GardenYHEP Field TripsMaster Gardener Steve with JMG GroupCareer Readiness Youth GroupYHEP assists 4-H Boulder City Robotics GroupJMG Kids community activityJMG at Farmers MarketYHEP flower press project

Recent Reports, Fact Sheets, News Articles...


Fall Gardening Checklist for Southern Nevada

This publication will help both the novice and the experienced gardener produce many cool season vegetables in their own yards. Fall is one of the best vegetable gardening times of the year in Southern Nevada. This creates the perfect time to grow many different vegetables such as green, root, bulb and cole crops.

bindweed flowers

Field Bindweed - An Attractive Nuisance, and Worse

A pretty plant may still be a weed, and field bindweed is a clear example. This attractive relation of morning glory can invade a landscape, interfering with the growth of desired plants both above and below ground. This fact sheet gives information on avoiding and treating field bindweed.

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.

Extension Director's Office | On the campus of University of Nevada, Reno