Can gardening help lower gun violence in Columbus?
As school nears for most students in Columbus, we end another summer break with high gun violence in the city. A professor at Ohio State University started a program to teach students how to garden to keep them off the streets.
“It’s a program all about providing positive youth development for young people in urban communities,” said Dr. Deanna Wilkinson, an associate professor at the College of Education and Human Ecology.
The program is called Urban GEMS (Gardening Entrepreneurs, Motivating Sustainability) and full of students who have experience gun violence. Whether they lost someone they know to violence in the streets or try to escape it themselves, this program has been changing lives.
“Just to be around people that I love,” said 10-year old Nasir Groce. “It’s teaching me how to run a business,” he said. “They don’t make fun of me.”