ALTON - At a young age, Alton community activist Abe Lee Barham's father instilled in him a love of gardening. Over the years, he formulated a dream of establishing an Inner City Garden for area youth so other Alton children could learn the adoration and skills in a garden as he did as a child.

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Abe Lee BarhamThe Inner City Garden is sponsored by Alton Housing and Theodora Farms with the goal to empower youth in the Alton area with another skill and experience that will stay with them forever.

Faye Taylor and Lisa Brown assist Barham in the project. This year the project will start with 10 selected youth. However, Barham pointed out that last year, the project swelled to 25 kids once they learned what the others were doing and the others wanted to participate.

Theodora Farms Manager Kris Larson said: "We are excited about this project and making sure local youth have access to not just garden-fresh foods but to learning how to grow food. Abe has been a real champion of teaching kids how to grow food, and we are honored to be working with him!"

“It was a tremendous success last year,” Barham said. “The garden is located right off Elm Street in Alton. It gives me pleasure to see the youth participate in this; technology has taken over the world and I feel we need to get back to the basics.

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"If we get in a situation where we have trouble getting food, everyone needs to know how to raise their own for their families. This also gives you a passion for something you have to nurture and grow.”

The mission of the Inner City Gardening Project is:

To teach children techniques involved in gardening.

How to maintain a garden.

Harvesting a garden.

When the garden vegetables are grown, the children share some of the products with senior residents.

Read More:

May 17, 2021 | Barham, Brown, Taylor, Introduce Youth To New Life Skills With Inner City Gardening Project May 17, 2021

Jul 6, 2021 | Abe Lee Barham Says Alton Inner City Garden Project Works Wonders With Youth Jul 6, 2021

Jun 21, 2021 | 'Labor Of Love,' This Juneteenth Extra Special For Alton Community Activist Abe Lee Barham and Grandpa Gang Friends Jun 21, 2021

Sep 9, 2021 | A Family Of Service: Anthony Barham, Constance Greer, Follow Inspiration To High Military Accolades Sep 9, 2021

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