Monday, July 30, 2018

A Park Day Experience at the Community Garden

         Rollingwood Municipal Park hosts a biannual event, “It’s My Park Day”, to encourage neighbors of Rollingwood to take part in service projects that will benefit the landscape and beautification of the local parks. Through such participation, adults and kids learn about the importance of being conservation minded, and they experience the joy of spending time in nature. The time dedicated to improve the grounds makes a big difference to those who actively visit and tend to the park.

         During the Spring Park Day on March 3, 2018, the Rollingwood Community Education Garden (RWCEG) also sponsored a special family event with the support of Community garden members, Becky and Jessica. They helped several elementary school aged children construct simple bird feeders, and they had them plant sprouting fruits and vegetables in an available garden bed.

To help provide local songbirds with food, the kids created unique bird feeders. These feeders were pinecones covered in various bird seed held on by a sticky layer of peanut butter. These seeds included sunflower seeds, peanuts, nyjer thistle, and a choice blend. A piece of twine was attached to the pine cones so the feeders could be hung on tree branches.

To begin the gardening project, the kids uprooted the wild weeds from the garden bed. After that, they began to transplant and sow seeds of various spring crops in the bed after amending the soil with nutrient rich composts. These plants consisted of basil, chard, fennel,  peppers, strawberries, and peas. To finish the job, the kids watered the garden with rain water collected in the garden’s water cistern.

         These planting efforts at the community garden made a positive impact for the natural 
ecosystem. It also taught the kids an important lesson on how to respect nature, and it gave them a better understanding of the work involved in growing produce. I thank Becky and Jessica for leading and educating these kids on this special day. Also special thanks to the Rollingwood Park commissioners, Toni Hudson and JoAnne Parker, for helping organize and support the event. I hope we can have a large turnout at the next park day this Fall to keep the practice of gardening 

Since the planting on March 3, RWCEG Caretakers have continued to water and tend the plants. To date we have had a good harvest of strawberries, peppers, and peas.  Several Swallow Tail caterpillars have been witnessed on the fennel. We encourage this since these caterpillars will become butterflies that are useful pollinators for many flowering plants.

Click on the links below to see pictures of the event.

Article written by garden caretaker, Evan Starnes