CORVALLIS, Ore. - A family harvest party with music, cider pressings, garden tours and kids' activities will be held Sunday, Oct. 2, in Corvallis.

The free event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the new WORMS Youth Garden at Westside Community Church, 4000 S.W. Western Blvd. The public is invited to tour this new community garden. There will be produce for sale, a raffle for prizes, and activities for children including a scavenger hunt and face painting.

This event is an opportunity to tour a new 10,000-square-foot youth garden that resulted out of an Oregon State University project.

The project, "Producing for the Future: A Collaboration between Low-Income Youth, Congregations, and Researchers," is a National Institutes of Health-funded initiative designed to explore the health benefits of community-based garden programs. It brings together low-income youth and young adults ages 16-25, members of local faith-based communities, and university researchers to provide training, work experience, and improved health outcomes.

Youth, adult partners and OSU researchers have worked together since January to design and plant a community garden and develop a microenterprise venture to market the produce grown. Using a process known as Community Based Participatory Research, the participants are collecting and analyzing data evaluating the project, and providing training and outreach to other communities interested in similar collaborations. Individuals in the project are both project designers and research participants.

Leslie Richards, assistant professor of human development and family sciences, is leading the research project. She said it also is designed to teach young people entrepreneurship skills, as well as partner youth with adults to address issues of social injustice.

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