BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - A colorful picket fence surrounds a special place at 126 Court St. in downtown Bay St. Louis. Ruth's Roots is a community garden sponsored by the Hancock County Juvenile Drug Court.
Court Administrator Aboye Jinkiri says those in the program learn a lot about life and responsibility caring for the garden.
"They learn about where their food comes from, they learn to give back in a productive way. We give the food they grow to the Starfish Cafe where they have a program that employs some of the parents involved in our court and teach them restaurant skills. It's a cycle of giving," said Jinkiri.
Ruth's Roots has captivated the community, and become a bit of a tourist attraction. The kids in drug court take pride in growing a wide variety of plants and taking care of animals.
"We have chickens, rabbits, and honey bees. We grow herbs, flowers and vegetables. We have art in there. You will find everything in the garden," Jinkiri said.
The community garden is in the running to win a $15,000 grant from the Plant it Forward Initiative, run by Nature's Path. This project is currently in the top 3 in the competition for the grant.
Organizers say the grant money would go a long way toward helping the kids do even more to help themselves, and the community.
"We would love to install a vertical garden. We're looking at updating our irrigation system. We're also looking to put in a greenhouse and open it to members of the community," Jinkiri said. "There's an opportunity to make a huge difference."
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