Thanks to lead gifts from the Monsanto Fund and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Metro St. Louis, Youth In Need began construction of its Monsanto Fund Science Discovery Garden in spring 2007.
Three volunteer master gardeners designed and implemented the 6,000-square foot outdoor garden and science learning lab, located at Youth In Need’s central office at 1815 Boone’s Lick Road in St. Charles. The garden will serve approximately 1,500 of Youth In Need’s children and teens each year.
Youth In Need publicly dedicated its garden on May 4, 2008.
The garden includes many educational and aesthetic features. The outdoor classroom includes extensive plant and garden areas in which children will experience hands-on learning about plant, insect and small bird life, as well as grow garden produce. Youth In Need’s teachers have developed a curriculum to engage children of all ages in learning about plant life, agriculture and taking care of our Earth.
Other components include:
- A three-tiered Koi pond with waterfalls
- A gazebo that serves as the setting for educational presentations
- A hand-painted tee-pee that offers small children a cozy reading nook
- A compost area
- Raised vegetable beds
- A vine tunnel
- Butterfly bushes
- A rock garden
- A fort and sand area
- More than 100 plants, trees and shrubs
The National Gardening Association (NGA) recognized Youth In Need’s garden as one of 50 top new children’s gardens in the country. Youth In Need’s garden was chosen from more than 700 national inspiring and impressive children’s gardens across the country to receive the prestigious award. As an award winner, Youth In Need received an assortment of books donated by the NGA and a $250 gift card from The Home Depot.
Pave a Pathway to Potential
Winding throughout the garden’s lower half are three sections of engraved brick pavers. Become a permanent part of the garden by purchasing an engraved brick paver. Engraved bricks allow you to leave a personal message in honor or tribute of special events or people in your life. Bricks make great gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, births and marriages. They also provide a lasting tribute to a friend or loved one who has passed away.