Tolland Garden Paths

Tolland, CT 06084


The Youth Garden will enjoy its seventh gardening season in 2018.  The produce grown in the youth garden produces a huge crop.  Did you know that the Youth Garden shared over 700 pounds of vegetables and herbs with the Cornerstone Soup Kitchen in Rockville in one year?  Our youth stewards also sold produce and flowers at the Tolland Farmer's Market on the Tolland Green in prior years.  The fund raising events help to keep the Youth Garden Program going.  

In addition to FUN learning programs offered to Tolland's youth, parents are welcome to join their children at the garden.  There are workshops and demonstrations throughout the growing season. There are opportunities to volunteer by helping to weed the gardens or assist with the summer program. You can even hold your child's birthday party at the Youth Garden!  Please contact Sandie Benjamin at for more details.


Garden club members, friends, volunteers, and children joined together in the fall of 2010 to start building the youth garden. We used the "lasagna" method which means you create layers of soil, newspaper, compost, and straw then we repeated the layers again until several large raised beds were completed.  By the spring of 2011, the garden was ready for planting. The youth garden has grown and includes compost bins, a water containment system, herb gardens, butterfly garden, meadow garden, Little Free Library, and Turtle Learning Circle. The children are fully involved with the growth and development of the youth garden.  They plant the gardens in the spring, then weed and cultivate the food, flowers, and herbs. They decorate the garden area as shown below with their artistic and creative painting on the garden shed and the colorful garden fence posts that can be seen from Cider Mill Road.

Check out more photos at the official Tolland Recreation photo website: Tolland Youth Garden Program

UNITED PLANT SAVERS GRANT. The Tolland Garden Paths Youth Garden is excited to have been awarded a United Plant Savers Grant for 2016 in the amount of $250 to continue our development of a Turtle Circle Teaching Garden on the YG Campus.  This garden space will be used to engage people of all ages in discovering and conserving at risk native medicinal plants in our community, state and region.  The circular shape of the garden and placement of the 12 seats and center focal point are modeled on Native American agricultural practices. The focal point of the circle is an anelammetic sundial in the center inviting visitors into a space for quiet contemplation and  joyful learning. The grant will be used to provide plant markers to educate children who attend Youth Garden programs and passersby to identify the medicinal plants in the garden and to encourage the conservation of seeds that perpetuate these plant species.


CROP MOB at the Tolland Youth Garden! Date to be determined.

Wear your gardening shoes  and gloves.  First time gardeners and seasoned pros of all ages are welcome to learn and grow together as we get the garden ready to plant and actually get some early crops planted!  For more information please contact Debbie Kupfer:  860-872-8514.


Date and time to be determined.

Tolland Youth Garden, Cider Mill Road behind the Lion's Field Baseball Field (look for the Sprout sign)

Ages 10 - 17

Fee: $10 for T-shirt and handbook

This is a fun time for new and returning Stewards, ages 10 - 17, to learn how you can be part of the Leadership Team for the 2018 Youth Garden (YG) Camp. We will go through a typical Tuesday morning YG camp session, learning how you can help young children enjoy the garden and the natural wonders of Crandall Park.  Wear shoes, bring your energy and enthusiasm. For more information, please contact Sandie Benjamin at or call 860-214-2406.



Dates and times to be determined

Ages 5-8: Class time is 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.

Ages 9-11: Class time is 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Fee: $16 for all 6 sessions

Leaders: Adult & Youth members of the Tolland Youth Garden Team

NOTE:  Registration for both of the youth garden programs is offered through the Tolland Recreation Department. Call 860-871-3610 or register online at

Earth Guardians and Speak For The Trees

Speak For the Trees was written on behalf of protecting the worlds resources for future generations. Our song tells the story, of how young people are standing up all over the world as leaders to protect what they love and to be a voice for those that are voiceless. Ours and future generations will be most affected by the decisions made at COP21, so we are using our voices though music to remind world leaders what is at stake and that what they decide at COP21 will determine the kind of world they will leave us with.


In 2014, the garden club received permission from the Town of Tolland to create a Meadow Garden next to the Youth Garden area.  The area surrounding the Lion's Club field has been maintained as a large expanse of mowed grass but the Youth Garden wanted to create a naturalized area to attract birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden.  Bees are very important for pollination and the plans for the meadow garden will include native plants that are preferred by bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects (good bugs).  By attracting these insects and bees, it will allow for better pollination of the vegetables, flowers and herbs growing in the garden plus the meadow garden will look beautiful for anyone that drops by to visits or enjoys walking along the paved path. 

In July 2015, Nick Feury, Order of the Arrow Scout, Tolland Troop 15, and his crew completed work on his Eagle Project at the YG to replace invasive bog plants with natives that will attract beneficial insects and critters. Jane Seymour, DEEP Steward of Belding Wildlife Management Area in Vernon, was on hand to guide and advise the scouts with their project. TYG steward, Collin Dooley, who is also a Troop 19 scout, was part of Nick's crew. As invasives were dug out, they were replaced with bog loving natives like Serviceberry shrubs and Turtlehead perennials. These plants were donated from TGP member's gardens. The crew celebrated with pizza, smiles, and high fives when the work was finished. Well done, Nick, and his crew from Troop 19 in Tolland! 

 A special sign was installed in October 2015 in memory of Lois Barlow Cox Query, a beloved member of Tolland Garden Paths garden club who passed away in 2014.  Lois was very involved in gardening and conservation efforts in Tolland. The club wanted to pay respect to Lois and the Meadow Garden seemed to be the perfect spot to pay homage to this amazing person who touched everyone's life. Lois was always happy and joking around but she was very serious when it came to conservation and her efforts to eradicate invasive species. To learn more about Lois, see our home page for the full article.