First Official Garden Event: Open House and Work Day

So proud to announce that our first official garden event was a huge success.

We were able to move the majority of the 15 yards of soil we ordered into the garden.  There were plans to have the soil delivered outside the gate of the garden since the actual gate is too narrow to permit dump truck access.  Unfortunately dumping on the sidewalk is prohibited by the city.  Just when we thought our plans were ruined one of the Haley House interns casually asked, “Why can’t we dump it in the school parking lot and carry it over?” and suddenly a solution appeared.  A quick phone call the school and few handmade “no parking signs” and our plan was underway.

Thankfully we had another great group of volunteers that showed up Saturday morning to help us move more than half of the soil we received.  And we have the pictures to prove it!  Check out and “like” our newly created Facebook page where we’ll be posting pictures, events and shorter updates on the garden’s progress.

Truly can’t thank everyone enough for their help, whether it was physical, financial or inspirational!  I was so blown away by the enthusiasm for the work we did (who knew moving dirt could be so much fun?) and for the project in general.  We ended the day with a reflection period where we posed two questions.  Here are some of the responses we got:

What does the garden mean to you?

“watching something beautiful grow”

“stress relief and relaxation”

“transformation and contemplation”

“mindful work”

“hard work”

What do you see happening in this collaborative space?

“a chalkboard set up for an outdoor classroom”

“birdhouses, blueberry bushes, a fruit stand and butterflies!”

“an excited school and staff, student involvement and school pride”

“putting a positive face on the school”

“getting in touch with good food, gardening and nature”

“getting people engaged and inspired”

“transformation through participation”

I’m particularly grateful to Susan Lindsay, a guidance advisor at the McKinley who contributed not only her time and gardening expertise but also a long list of creative ideas on how to initiate our collaboration with the school year teachers, students and staff.  I am so blown away by the creativity, vision and energy of the all the participants and the neighbors who stop by frequently when we’re out working to question and comment and add their ideas.  This truly a collaborative project and it was incredibly rewarding to see the Susan and her student Chelsea’s excitement and gratitude for the project during our reflection period.