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Captain Planet visits Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus to learn about organic gardening

October 24, 2011

Captain Planet and representatives of the Captain Planet Foundation recently visited the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville, Ga., to learn about organic gardening from Youth Villages’ staff and children.

The Douglasville residential campus for children with emotional, behavioral and mental health issues and Youth Villages’ programs in Mississippi are the recipients of an $11,400 grant from the Captain Planet Foundation to promote organic gardening at the two Youth Villages locations.

Accompanying Captain Planet on his visit were the foundation’s interim director, Christina Stevens, as well as Development Coordinator Becca Iverson and Youth Villages representatives from Mississippi.

The grant from Captain Planet Foundation, which has been divided equally between Youth Villages’ programs in Georgia, where funds are being used to enhance an existing organic vegetable, herb and flower garden on the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville, and in Mississippi, where the grant will allow the organization to start its Gardens in the Gulf program.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Captain Planet Foundation on this pilot program to provide both environmental education and organic backyard gardens to the children, families and young adults we help in Georgia and Mississippi,” said Mary Norman, Youth Villages Georgia director of development. “This will be a wonderful learning experience for our children and families and a chance for them to supplement their diet with homegrown fruits and vegetables.”

At the Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus garden, funds are helping reinforce and build a fence around the garden, to provide mulch and fertilizer, gardening equipment, as well as bulbs and new plants.

Gardens in the Gulf will kick off in Mississippi in late October, when Youth Villages staff and volunteers will work with families served by the organization to teach them organic gardening skills.

“Youth Villages is on the cutting edge of transforming the way children and youth shape their future,” said Stevens. “Their mission of helping children and families live successful lives means living sustainable lives and that is where our goals intersect. Our mission at Captain Planet is to empower children and youth to understand and care for their environment through active hands-on learning experiences. We see this as a great and growing partnership.”

The Mississippi Gardens in the Gulf project will continue in the spring, when the focus will be the planting of backyard gardens. Learning the skills necessary for organic gardening will allow the families served by Youth Villages to have homegrown fruits and vegetables on their tables.

Youth Villages Georgia is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully through intensive in-home services, residential treatment and a transitional living program to help former foster youth make a successful transition into independent adulthood.

Youth Villages’ intensive in-home services program helps children and families where they need help most: in their own homes. By strengthening the entire family, the organization’s intensive in-home services program helps prevent children from being placed into foster care or residential treatment, and also helps children who have already been placed outside the home to reunify quickly and safely with a member of their birth family.

Youth Villages opened its Atlanta office in 2008. The Youth Villages-Inner Harbour Campus in Douglasville has been helping Georgia’s most troubled children through residential treatment since 1962.

Youth Villages’ focus on strengthening families consistently produces an 80 percent success rate of children living successfully at home two years after completing a Youth Villages program. Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For by Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group in 2010 and 2011, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by The White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations.

In Mississippi, Youth Villages provides foster care and transitional living services, as well as home- and community-based services through MYPAC – Mississippi Youth Programs Around the Clock, a partnership with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid, from offices in Jackson, Tupelo, Biloxi, Hattiesburg and Hernando.

For more information about Youth Villages, visit

The mission of Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high quality, educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through learning experiences that engage them in active hands-on projects to improve the environment in their schools and communities.

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