Gardeners Wanted to Help Local At-Risk Youth

The Eddy House is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization operating in downtown Reno, Nevada. It provides free programs and services for homeless, runaway, foster and at-risk youth in the Reno and Sparks area of northern Nevada. To fulfill its mission, The Eddy House partners with many other local agencies. In the past, The Eddy House worked with Urban Roots. Together, the two groups planted an edible garden behind The Eddy House, between the main house and outbuildings on the property which serve as a conference room, a chill zone and storage.

However, the food garden was not well-utilized by The Eddy House’s clientele. First, not many teens list vegetables as their favorite thing to eat. Second, The Eddy House has no ability to use a stove top or oven due to Nevada law. This means hiding zucchini in delicious baked goods is out as is canning veggies and jams. Third, the at-risk youth themselves have nowhere to store or prepare the food themselves. This meant that plants which received valuable and limited resources such as water, time and money went to waste.

Since a food garden did not work well in the yard, it has been discontinued. So far this growing season, the former food-garden ground is barren. I am sure the yard is the furthest from The Eddy House’s mind at this point. The numbers of at-risk youth utilizing their services is growing at an astounding rate. Staff are focusing on finding resources to shower, dress and feed Reno’s homeless youth. If you can help them with this, please do so.

But also consider helping them with yard work. One Eddy House staff member suggested converting the former backyard food garden into a labyrinth and meditation garden. This would be powerful for Eddy House youth because of the traumatic environments in which many were raised and to which may return each night. Having a peaceful, beautiful, safe place to interact with nature– my garden– has changed my life. I would love to help area youth in need have that resource available to them as well.

Learn more about how you can help The Eddy House. Visit

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