The annual pumpkin delivery to two Utah schools is one of the Utah Department of Corrections’ favorite seasonal traditions. Inmates grew more than 2,000 pumpkins this year in the Green Thumb Nursery program at Utah State Prison.
The harvest was donated to local children with significant disabilities and other community organizations. Utah Department of Corrections staff delivered more than 400 pumpkins to students at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School in the Jordan School District and Jordan Valley School in the Canyons School District. Students at these schools are severely disabled and receive a comprehensive educational program from specially trained staff. Many of the students would not be able to access an outdoor pumpkin patch, and this gives them a chance to experience the fall tradition within comfortable surroundings.
The annual event is a highlight for the inmates, who treat the program as a way to give back to the community. Staff members also love delivering the pumpkins and are delighted by the smiles and interactions with the students. UDC’s Mascot Officer Justice and the Utah Grizzlies hockey team mascot Grizzbee also made an appearance at the pumpkin patch.
The Green Thumb Nursery is a horticulture apprenticeship program in the Utah Correctional Industries (UCI) division. The inmates earn certificates in horticulture while growing plants, herbs and vegetables for sale to the community. UCI has been donating pumpkins to schools and community organizations for about 20 years.
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- Public Information Office, October 30, 2017