CGW Partners with DJC GROW Academy

GROW Academy's new sign.

In June 2014, the Division of Juvenile Corrections (DJC) opened an innovative center called the Grow Academy in Oregon, Wisconsin. The Academy’s mission is to provide an alternative to juvenile incarceration for county juvenile justice agencies, as well as an opportunity to reintegrate youth returning to the community from a Juvenile Correctional Institution.  DJC renovated a five-acre property (formerly the SPRITE site) to implement this Agricultural Science Program for at-risk youth.  The current program is designed to accommodate twelve youth in a 120-day residential program. Future plans include a day report center for an additional 12 youth.   

Community GroundWorks staff (Shelly Strom) designed the 1-acre garden and orchard to facilitate outdoor learning, green skills training and therapeutic horticulture. For example, each resident is given their own garden 10’x10’ garden plot to design, tend and nurture; the community vegetable garden is tended by staff and teen residents; harvested food is used in the culinary arts program or donated to food pantries. 

Community GroundWorks was recently awarded a year-long contract to continue its work with the Grow Academy. Staff will provide weekly workshops on- and off-site throughout the year as well as facilitate community connections to local expertise and internships. 

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