This March, we proudly welcomed 17 area girls, ages 9-12 (Grades 4-6), to celebrate Spring and launch our first year of Natural Wellness for Girls at the WVBG. This exciting new program, which encourages girls to embrace healthy lifestyles and forge a lasting connection with nature, was graciously funded by the Women’s Giving Circle of North Central West Virginia. Participants gained skills and knowledge from area experts in Nutrition/Exercise, Yoga/Mindfulness, Outdoor Recreation/Readiness, and Gardening, while supporting materials such as outdoor backpacks, yoga mats, healthy snacks, and container gardens were received so the girls could continue healthy lifestyle strategies as they grow.

Below are a few comments by program participants and a parent speaking to the success of the program.

“I really enjoyed learning about ways to keep healthy and feel good about myself, especially as I grow up.” – participant

“I loved making new friends and being outside. The take-home materials were the best! I use my outdoor backpack and yoga mat for ‘me time’ every week.” – participant

“Thank you for such a positive program! Seeing my daughter learn firsthand about healthy ways to cope with changes as she grows was truly inspiring. I wish this program had been around when I was a young girl growing up!” – mother of a participant

We are excited about the community collaborations established through this pilot program, including partnerships with Girl Scouts USA, WVU Extension Service, Adventure WV Outdoor Education Center, Outdoor Women’s Alliance, Monongalia County Master Gardeners, and local area wellness educators. A special thank you to Guest Instructors Lisa Hynes, Emily Murphy, Ali Jeney, and Allie Kresen; and program supporters, Diana Scott, Sally Taylor, Erin Smaldone, Bill Mills, Linda Carson, Beth Nardella, Carrie Smith-Bell, and Greg Corio.

Natural Wellness for Girls participants with their container gardens.

Photo by Stacy Clovis-Woofter.

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