B.B.Barns Sprout Squad

Sprout Squad has it’s own logo. Look for t-shirts soon!

Sprout Squad has it’s own logo. Look for t-shirts soon!

B.B. Barns is focused on the future. We believe every tree, shrub and perennial is an investment in the health and beauty of our planet. We train gardeners with seminars, garden tours and staff that can reliably answer your questions. Now we’re taking our investment to the next step by investing in our kiddos. We’re doing this in two very concrete ways.

First, in October 2018 we created the B.B. Barns Sprout Squad for kids ages 5 and up. It’s a club that doesn’t require membership or monthly dues, invites all children with all capabilities, and explores the world of gardening and science through hands-on activities themed for the season. Hosted monthly by Jenna Mace, Tropicals Buyer, and Haley Martin, Assistant Nursery Manager, the meetings are held at the store, and are advertised in our weekly newsletter. (If you aren’t signed up for our newsletter, sign up here).

Since October, Jenna and Haley have helped children discover the world of bats (Halloween!), use scraps from left-over foods to start kitchen gardens (Thanksgiving!) and feed wild birds with pine cone garlands (Christmas!). Each meeting includes a creative project that children take home. January 26th continues the learning with a seminar on water cycles explored through building terrariums. For more information on our January 26 event, click here.

Our mission for the children is simple

The B. B. Barns Sprout Squad activity and seminar club aims to provide curious and engaged children with opportunities to learn about the natural world through gardening under the guidance of the horticulture experts on staff.

Please note: The dates and times for the meetings change from month to month. For quick information about the Sprout Squad meetings check our monthly seminar and events calendar here or call the store (828-650-7300, ext. 1). We do advertise each get-together 2-3 weeks prior to meeting in our newsletter, Facebook, signage in the store, and online.

Details for the Sprout Squad meetings are listed below:

Jenna Mace helping children in December make pine cone garlands for the birds.

Jenna Mace helping children in December make pine cone garlands for the birds.

  • New events are held every month on a Saturday.

  • Each event will state age requirements.

  • Parents do not need to stay with children, but do need to stay in the store.

  • Seating will be limited to 15 per class; registration prior to event is required.

  • Registration fees will vary depending upon project event, the range is $10-30.

  • All purchases are final; no calendar adjustments or refunds unless due to store closure.

  • Membership: This is not a member’s only club. Children are welcome any Saturday, without previous attendance. Children are given a punch card for the classes they attend. After 5 punches, prizes are awarded.

  • No previous gardening experience is necessary. Not necessary to be super smart in science either!

  • Our two Sprout Squad leaders are Jenna Mace and Haley Martin.

  • Sign up online or in the store.

kid's garden

If you have any questions about the activities or special needs of your child, please call or email Haley Martin haley.martin@bbbarns.com or Jenna Mace, jenna.mace@bbbarns.com or call 828-650-7300, ext. 1 and ask to speak with Jenna or Haley.

Second, we’ve partnered with Kids Gardening, an organization that has been taking gardening into schools since 1982. Through their grants, educator resources, and online programs, children are becoming the next generation of gardeners. We’re happy to help Kids Gardening as they pursue their mission. Please check out this creative organization whose goal is to get children outside digging in the dirt. KidsGardening.org

As we move forward with the Sprout Squad and other initiatives to get children into the garden and exploring outdoors, please give us your feedback to help this new program meet its best potential. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s to a great year for the children at B.B.Barns Garden Center.

Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach and blog writer.

B.B.Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina and Tennessee.