Three organizations serving kids in Thompson and the region received a welcome reminder that spring is on the way! On Friday, Jan. 29, TEEG received word of a grant award through the KidsGardening.org 2021 Youth Garden Grant program, to support the proposal “Green and Growing Kids at the Garden By the River.” The award includes a package of tools, materials and supplies valued at $500, plus a cash award of $250. All materials and funds received under this award will be dedicated to support youth programming at the Thompson Garden By the River for three partner organizations: TEEG’s youth mentoring program, Thompson Recreation Department and Girl Scout Troop 65117. The proposal was written and submitted on behalf of TEEG and the other partners by Thompson’s Director of Planning & Development. Planned and installed in 2019, and maintained in its first season by the founding volunteer group, Thompson’s Garden By the River is opened for plot rentals by Thompson residents as of Feb. 1. To further enhance its value to the community, a 30’ long section of the enclosed raised beds is being set aside for the three partnering youth groups, each having compatible goals of teaching kids to grow, harvest and appreciate fresh foods as a part of their regular curriculum. Activities in the garden will enhance Thompson Recreation’s existing after-school and summer programs, while the Girl Scouts will develop activities that provide leadership opportunities for the Scouts with their peers. For lead applicant TEEG, activities at the Garden By the River will augment their youth services in the following ways: • Include food gardening as a part of TEEG’s well-established mentoring program for youth ages 6- 18 with behavioral health concerns. • Incorporate gardening as an activity in the All-Star Adventure Program, providing recreational summer opportunities for at-risk youth. • Offer community service in the Garden By the River as a diversionary strategy of our Juvenile Review Board program, providing non-violent juvenile offenders with a non-punitive alternative for rehabilitation. TEEG, Thompson Recreation and the Girl Scouts are looking forward to April 1st for the opening of the Garden By the River!