International Rescue Committee (IRC)

New Roots Youth Garden Program

Photo:  Amberley Middleton/The IRC

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The IRC New Roots Youth Garden Program was featured on KPBS TV's gardening series A Growing Passion.

The IRC New Roots Youth Garden Program teaches about nutrition and small scale organic growing while providing academic enrichment, mentoring, and job readiness training through garden programs at two high schools in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego.

School Based
In partnership with Crawford and Hoover High Schools, the IRC offers one of the most innovative school gardening programs in the San Diego Unified School District.  Located in dense, diverse, and low-income urban areas, our school garden programs pioneer field based projects that

  • promote healthy eating and sustainable agriculture,
  • advance academic learning and achievement,
  • instill civic responsibility,
  • encourage community service, and
  • provide a forum for youth to develop valuable life skills.

Paid Internships
Each year, the IRC facilitates 90 paid school semester length garden internships that are open to any student at Crawford or Hoover High School.  The IRC Garden Club Interns are trained in organic gardening practices and sustainable  agricultural principles such as

  • composting and soil fertility,   
  • irrigation and water conservation, and
  • integrated pest management and organic control methods.

Life Skills
In addition to gardening topics, participants are also introduced to life skills such as

  • financial literacy,
  • budgeting,
  • conflict  resolution,
  • workplace expectations, and  
  • successful work habits.

Since 2006, the IRC New Roots Youth Garden Program has been providing a unique avenue for students growing up in an urban setting to learn about food, nutrition, employment, leadership, and life skills.

The New Roots Youth Garden Program is part of IRC's Youth Programs.  For more information, please contact Coreen Walsh at or +1 619 641 7510 x 315.  









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