• Wyatt Jones helps aerate the garden beds in front of Trackside Teen Center for Wilton's Green Teens program on Wednesday. Photo: Stephanie Kim / Hearst Connecticut Media

WILTON — Tony Musilli is a veteran member of the Green Teens gardening program.

The 12-year-old started gardening at Trackside Teen Center three years ago, the summer before fourth grade.

He helped newcomer Gustavs Silins with weeding the Neighborhood Garden in front of Trackside Wednesday afternoon, during the program’s first meeting.

The two sixth-graders became friends through Boy Scout Troop 20.

“You got to dig down a little,” Musili said, uprooting the weed with a small hand shovel. “See now how it’s loosened? Then you’re going to pull it. And look, you got all those weeds out.”

Silins watched carefully and asked if he could try. After successfully pulling out a weed, he smiled.

“I like it because it’s fun,” Silins said.

The Green Teens program is open to middle-schoolers in grades 5-8. Members participate in hands-on activities of designing garden beds, planting, maintaining, and harvesting produce grown in garden for the Wilton Food Pantry. Last year, the group donated more than 200 pounds of produce to the pantry.

Pam Nobumoto, Wilton Garden Club’s chairperson of youth gardening, runs the program with fellow Wilton Garden member Laurie Musilli. The program is also supported by Jim Hunter