Kids who visit the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre recently learned all about gardening thanks to an annual stop by Scott Austin from GardenWorks Penticton. (Photo- OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre)

Kids who visit the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre recently learned all about gardening thanks to an annual stop by Scott Austin from GardenWorks Penticton. (Photo- OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre)

Kids spend day in the garden at Penticton OSNS Child Development Centre

‘Children who are introduced to gardening at an early age can reap the benefits for a lifetime’

Kids who visit the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre recently had the chance to plant vegetables and learn all about the value of healthy eating thanks to an annual springtime visit from a local gardener.

It was a day in the garden that featured lessons about nature, nutrition, cooperation and responsibility, with Gardenworks Penticton’s Scott Austin leading the charge.

“Children who are introduced to gardening at an early age can reap the benefits for a lifetime,” said Jackie Duncan, a physiotherapist at the OSNS centre. “Gardening stimulates their large motor skills through bending, squatting, stretching, digging, lifting, pushing and pulling.”

Every spring, Austin stops by the Penticton-based child centre and brings along a number of vegetables for the kids to plant. Once they’re ready to be picked, the gardeners get to learn about the value of eating healthy.

“The kids absolutely love this day and look forward to it every year,” said Megan Windeler, a philanthropy associate at the centre. “All of us at the Centre are so grateful for the opportunity that allows our kids to learn about gardening early in life.”

Patience and care were among the other lessons kids got a chance to learn about during their day in the garden, the centre added.

The OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre has supported children with developmental challenges since 1978. More than 1,600 children from across the South Okanagan visit the centre annually.

“OSNS is thankful for the ongoing support GardenWorks provides to the centre through the Learning Garden and was thrilled to have Scott Austin back this year to help out,” representatives from the centre said.

READ MORE: Penticton Quiz Night raises $4k for OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre


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