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A Garden to Uplift the Spirits of People in Need

  • Subject: [cg] A Garden to Uplift the Spirits of People in Need
  • From: "Jim Call" jimcall@mail.casagarden.com
  • Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 16:15:23 -0400

This past weekend, a few Master Gardeners and I installed and planted a small garden for a homeless shelter for the women and their children.

A couple of items about this project:
The name "Sapp Shelter" is named after its major donor, Gene Sapp, a former President of a 6B a year local company. 

Although the garden was installed and planted by volunteers, it will be maintained by the residents of the shelter.  I will make weekly visits to advise and assist as needed.

Coming from experience, Master Gardeners organizations do not have a problem helping finance community projects such as this one.  In most cases, they will help install and plant them.  You will be pressed to get long term committments from such organizations in terms of requiring large number of volunteers for maintaining a garden.  

You will need a "buy in" from the homeless shelter to maintain the project. Going forward, if the project proves to be successful, the MGers will not hesitate to assist annually in its planting and offer financial help as well.

One unique aspect about our arrangement is that the residents will give some of its produce to an elderly or homebound individual.  This year, they also will be able to bring them flowers.  Something like... people in need helping people in need.

Please visit the following url to review this project:


Its amazing the impact you can make on the lives of those in need with a small budget and a few volunteers. 

This is a step-by-step process.  Next year, I plan to involve the residents to help in planting the garden.  This year, my main focus is to get the MGers on board.  Because of the small size of the garden and number of volunteers, I didn't want too many cooks in the kitchen. 

Hope this helps those seeking information on the homeless and gardening.  

One drawback to our garden is that it is located next to a path where transients and others walk.  I do know the impact of this foot traffic on the garden.  Last year, with only 2 beds, no one bothered it.  We shall see. It is a learning situation.  You never know, one hot summer night, some drunk may want to do some dancin' with our scarecrow by the light of the moon.

Jim Call, Master Gardener 

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