For more than 25 years the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department Horticulture Program has provided a unique opportunity for inmates to receive valuable occupational training in the horticultural field. Students in the program receive classroom instruction that is partnered with lab exercises and hands-on experience in nursery production and landscape management. The Horticulture Unit is located on 2-acres, and offers production houses, a retail nursery, classroom, and workshop spaces.
Students in the program learn by doing, developing and practicing new skills at every stage of the plant's life cycle. It is through student effort that the nursery is able to offer a wide selection of plants to the public as well as supplying thousands of California native plants to the Sonoma County Water Agency for habitat restoration.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department has partnered with Five Keys Schools and Programs to continue rich programming and popular plant sales offered through the nursery at Jail Industries. Five Keys' goal is to restore communities through education. Our philosophy is that through social and restorative justice principles, we can provide traditionally underserved communities the opportunity to restart their education, focusing on five key areas: Education, Employment, Recovery, Family and Community. By offering a comprehensive high school degree program and an opportunity for students to participate in the Horticulture Program, we aim to create a safer and more vibrant Sonoma County.
The Horticulture Program is proud to host the Sonoma County Master Gardeners, a local branch of an educational program developed by the UC system to provide horticulture and gardening information to the citizens of California.
A special thank you to Rick Stern for the years of dedication that made the continued success of the Jail Industries Horticulture Program possible.
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