NewsPinellas County


Community garden helps Tarpon Springs kids grow by teaching life lessons

Cops 'N Kids community garden Tarpon Springs
Posted at 2:48 AM, Jan 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-11 08:59:20-05

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Tucked away in a Tarpon Springs neighborhood, children and teenagers are planting, picking and pulling.

"How did I teach you to check the carrots? You check around there and go around the stem," said Ryan Farley.

Farley runs the community garden associated with Cop 'N Kids program in Tarpon Springs. He explains that the benefits for the kids are endless because they do everything from math and gardening to learning life lessons, "... picking up their own food, picking carrots, picking tomatoes, smelling tomatoes, and seeing the different animals."

All of the food grown goes to the children, their families or the community.

"My mom will chop up the carrots and cook them. We will have carrots, mashed potatoes, and broccoli," said Duriah, one of the students who is part of the Cops N' Kids program and works in the garden.

The garden is a small part of Cops 'N Kids which is a program the Tarpon Springs Police Department and the Tarpon Springs Housing Authority created.

Farley says it is a safe haven to connect police officers and kids. While he is the teacher, the kids give him a lesson or two of his own.

"... that everything is beautiful. But seriously, everything that grows out here and the faces they make - it validates that what we are doing is good," said Farley.

For more information about the Cops 'N Kids program, click here.