Triple Ripple Community Garden press release

Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Three Rivers, MI March 15, 2010. The youth of Three Rivers are going to be cultivating the spirit of community, neighborhood and diversity by growing food collaboratively and sustainably. In April, coordinators of the Triple Ripple Community Garden, Julianna Sauber- and Brenda McGowan-Nurturing Communities Initiative will begin what is hoped to be the first of many local community gardens. The location of the gardens will be the former Huss School. Huss School property, owned by *culture is not optional, of which two local residents, Kirstin and Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma are connected, is poised to be a space of creative collaboration among many individuals and organizations. Offering a community garden will get kids off the couch, involved in nurturing relationships and a great summer project. Youth will have an option for free, healthy food that will help with nutrition and developing good eating habits. The kids will learn to grow organic food, prepare that food and store it for the winter extending the benefits of this garden to year around. They will have the benefit of good peer and adult role models to show them that they have the skills to be successful, and with a little hard work can have the pride of accomplishment of growing a beautiful garden, and for older youth an opportunity to sell their products at Farmer’s Markets. The goal is to recruit, train, engage, and mentor anywhere from 60-90 youth to invest in 9 plots. Estimated cost for tools, plants, supplies, and marketing is $10,000.00
Triple Ripple Community Garden coordinators have scheduled two informational meetings for anyone who is interested and skilled at working with adolescents and gardening. Our meetings are scheduled for Sunday, March 21st at 3:00 p.m and Thursday, March 25 at 6:00 p.m. All meetings will be held at Family Education and Development Services office, 2 North Main, Three Rivers.
For more information or to make a donation contact either coordinator- Julianna Sauber (574)238- 5289 or Brenda McGowan at (269)744-0646. All checks should be made payable to *culture is not optional P.O. Box 1, Three Rivers, Michigan, 49093. Checks should be clearly marked for the Triple Ripple Community Gardens project.*culture is not optional is a non -profit 501c3 organization. Donations of hand tools and other garden implements may be made at Eagle Auto Glass on South Main Street in Three Rivers.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this project. Thank you!