Participants in Kentucky State University’s Youth Development Program have developed an unconventional urban garden in the median of a campus parking lot and plan to show it off at an event on Wednesday, June 18.

The young people in the program will participate in a discussion with a Franklin County extension agent, a KSU Land Grant program representative and others about the benefits of garden-based learning. The discussion will begin at 9:45 a.m. at the garden in the parking lot behind the university’s Bell Gym.

“Gardening enhances our quality of life in numerous ways, providing fresh food, exercise and health benefits and opportunities for lifelong learning,” said Dr. Herman E. Walston, director of the Youth Development Program.

There will be photo opportunities as participants of the Youth Development Program, which serves as an education and intervention program for youths ages 8 – 17, tend the garden.

Walston said gardening creates pleasing landscapes and brings people together, and garden-based learning programs result in nutrition and environmental awareness, higher learning achievement and increased life skills.

“Gardening is also an effective and engaging way to integrate curriculum and meet learning standards, giving young people the chance to develop a wide range of academic and social skills,” Walston said. “Garden experiences foster ecological literacy and stewardship skills, enhancing an awareness of the link between plants in the landscape and our clothing, food, shelter and well-being.”