Solana Beach center turning kids into ‘Garden Ambassadors’

By Claire Harlin

Ten kids in Solana Beach became “Garden Ambassadors” on Feb. 29, graduating from an intensive six-week organic gardening program at the Solana Beach Center for a Healthy Lifestyle, housed at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito.

The program, directed by Andi MacLeod, gives kids grades two to six a broad understanding of organic gardening, from seedlings, to compost to insects.

The Center for a Healthy Lifestyle was opened on Earth Day in 2009, and the garden program has been going on for the last several months.

Carolyn Perkins, the center’s director, said the feedback on the gardening program has been spectacular.

“Once kids get a chance to make things grow and see how they grow they will be all the more inspired to eat well,” said Perkins, adding that the center also has kids’ cooking classes, as well as other types of gardening classes.

Skyline Elementary student Clinton Alden said the program was fun because he had the opportunity to not only learn about growing things, but to also grow them.

“Then we can put what we grow in our school garden and make it better,” he said, adding that he is a huge plant fan, and loves collecting bean seeds from plants and replanting them.

Sheldon Goldman said his son, Adam, always came home excited from the program.

“He’d tell us about new things he learned and he’d apply those things in our own garden,” Goldman said.

For more information about classes or volunteer opportunities, call (858) 436-7502 or email