ROCKPORT – Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, is looking for volunteers for Kids Can Grow, a six-month comprehensive gardening program, teaching youth ages 7-12 how to grow nutritious vegetables, herbs and flowers for their families in their own 3 x 5 foot raised gardens at home using square foot intensive gardening techniques. Volunteers can get involved in a variety of ways, from mentoring program participants to helping prepare gardening supplies.

On Wednesday, April 27, MCHT will host a volunteer orientation session for those interested in mentoring families participating in Kids Can Grow. Orientation will be from 4-5 p.m. at MCHT’s Erickson Fields Reserve, 164 West Street, Rockport. The rain venue will be MCHT’s Aldermere Farm, 20 Russell Avenue in Rockport.

Since 2009, MCHT, in partnership with the Knox/Lincoln County Extension Office, has operated a Kids Can Grow program at Erickson Fields Preserve. Children take part in a series of “hands-on” gardening classes at Erickson Fields from May through October and repeat what they learn at home using materials provided by the program and guidance from a volunteer mentor.

“Kids Can Grow is a feel-good experience for helping volunteers and participants,” MCHT volunteer Marina Schauffler said in a press release. “In our last session, a parent shared how much their diet had changed and how incorporating more fresh vegetables had already dramatically improved their health. In a single growing season, people can gain skills and habits that will last them a lifetime. It’s rewarding to be part of that process.

To apply for a volunteer, visit aldermere.org/volunteering. For more information on Kids Can Grow, visit aldermere.org/kids-can-growcall 207-236-2739 or email [email protected]