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Leadership St. Pete ’24 to work with Youth Farm

Madison DeVore

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Volunteers work in the St. Pete Youth Farm's gardens. Photo by Mark Parker.

Leadership St. Pete has selected the St. Pete Youth Farm as the beneficiary of  “Sprouting Success,” its 2024 class project.

The farm – located in the south side of the city – not only provides free fresh fruits and vegetables, but also hands-on learning opportunities for the community. This year’s project goal is to enhance the farm’s facilities and provide an engaging space for youth to learn about sustainable agriculture, nutrition and environmental stewardship. 

Carla Bristol, Collaboration Manager at the Youth Farm, said “As someone who has personally contributed to a prior Leadership St. Pete project, I fully know how engaged people who become familiar through the Leadership St. Pete remain – even after the project is over and completed.”

“Many hands make light work,” she said.

This year’s project will improve the farm’s multi-use areas with permanent ground coverings and shade and rain protection, in order to increase functionality in the spaces for programming and classes. 

These defined spaces that are comfortable, shaded and level will be necessary for those who are waiting for food to be harvested and for upcoming events such as Women’s Appreciation Month and Earth Day, said Bristol.

“The farm already has magic. And I feel that when our young people see that these spaces were transformed in -really – five months, by this group of community and business people, I think it will certainly make them feel as though the community greater than their neighbors care,” said Bristol. “This is a convergence of a really large-scale initiative.”

LSP is a division of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, with the mission of enhancing community leadership through in-depth introduction to local social, economic, business and political issues. LSP aims to identify, recruit and develop leaders to represent the city’s diversity and take on future leadership roles in the community.

The St. Pete Youth Farm offers the chance for anyone to access locally grown produce and even learn how to grow their own food. Local teens-  14 and older – are employed and paid for their hard work, while also developing a strong work ethic and helping provide nutritious food to friends and family. These teens are a part of every decision made at the farm, Bristol said.

Those at the farm also care about mental health, not just physical, as a licensed therapist visits every Monday. In September, the farm partnered with New Visions to expand its mental health and wellness initiative. 

Leading up to a hands-on day of service to complete the project in May, the LSP Class of 2024 will be raising donations and hosting fundraising events. The new and improved farm will provide a space for youth and community members to learn and grow together.

This project will be completed just before the farm’s 5th anniversary and will elevate how the entire community is served, said Bristol.

Visit stpete.com/LSP to learn more about LSP and the 2024 class project with the Youth Farm.

 

 

 

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