Young volunteers

These 4-H youths are learning to be vegetable gardeners to benefit the Stephen Center. The kids also hope to learn how to tag butterflies.

Shawn Graham has lots of workers at his gardens in southwest Omaha.

Youngsters from an Explorers 4-H group and the Aquatic Society of Omaha help grow food for the Stephen Center. Plans to involve the Girl Scouts were waylaid this spring by the coronavirus pandemic.

They also have a garden for pollinators. Columbine as well as common, butterfly and rose milkweed grow there. It is a certified wildlife habitat site.

“The pollinator plants are to try to help the monarchs,” Graham said.

The kids hope to learn how to tag butterflies, too.

Several grants fund their efforts, and some youths have been honored for their volunteer work.

Last year, the kids grew 30 pounds of food for the Stephen Center. This year, after putting in a sprinkler system, they think they can grow much more.

The young volunteers often tend their own vegetable gardens at home, too.

Graham says they welcome visitors to the Giles Site, 8202 S. 166th St. They also give away free pollinator plants.


10 plants to think about putting in your garden this year

Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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