Reason #17: Building on the existing community garden

Categories:Projects
Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma

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Reason #17: Arts programming for youth will build on the work of the Triple Ripple Community Gardens at Huss School, appealing to some of the same participants, but also bringing in kids with different gifts and interests.
During the 2010 growing season, Triple Ripple Community Gardens raised over 1,000 pounds of produce on the property at Huss School to donate to the county homeless shelter, the domestic assault shelter and local families in need. We think that’s pretty amazing, and we’re very excited to see what changes and improvements make next year’s community garden experiment an even bigger success. Already, plans are in the works to connect with even more neighborhood kids to teach them how to grow food.
Though there’s a lot of overlap between gardening and making art, not every kid is into sticking their bare hands into the soil, enduring mosquitoes or sweating it out in the Michigan humidity to get that whole row weeded. And that’s okay. Our hope would be that being able to provide arts programming at the school in addition to the garden will draw kids with a wide range of skills and interests. There’s also excellent potential for overlapping arts and garden projects–pressing flowers and herbs, painting murals on signs and sheds, drawing and photographing and filming the garden and its caretakers throughout the season. But also, if we get one heated, plumbed space up and running inside the school building, arts programming can continue even while the garden is enjoying its winter solitude in preparation for the next season. Continuity and stability will be critical for growing healthy relationships with neighborhood kids and indoor arts activities will provide that opportunity.