RAPID CITY, S.D. — As people with green thumbs are getting antsy to start their gardens, Live Well Black Hills is helping some childcare centers dig in the dirt and educate some young minds.
Live Well Black Hills awarded Children First in Spearfish, Little Promises University in Sturgis, and CJ’s Playpen, The Dove Academy Daycare & Preschool, Lil Friends Learning Center, Little Nest Preschool, and Youth & Family Services in Rapid City to participate in the Childcare Gardens Program.
The gardens not only encourage children to develop healthy eating habits, but also enhances motor skills, promotes physical activity, and can develop math skills.
Christina Prehn, Community Engagement Associate with Live Well Black Hills, says, “But the big goal here is to create healthy eating habits so children can learn you know the value of including fruits and vegetables in your diet and how that can set you up for a healthy lifestyle moving forward as you grow up.”
Selected childcare centers will receive up to $500 in supplies to build their garden, including garden bed building materials or containers, soil components, plants, seeds, a water hose, a food scale, educational resources, and other relevant items.
Children are involved in the planting, growing, harvesting and weighing of produce from the garden and childcares will share harvest data with Live Well Black Hills throughout the growing season.
Over 300 children participated in gardening activities at the three childcares of the inaugural program last year.