It started out as a small patch of green lawn on the east side of the Main Club. By the end of the day, it was transformed into 24 wooden frames filled with silky black soil lined up neatly forming the grounds for gardens.
More than two dozen people showed up ready to dig in and get their hands dirty on a mild Saturday afternoon. There were moms and kids, Club staff and leaders, and community volunteers. A bobcat rumbled over the earth as it scraped back the top layer of sod as the helpers moved the chunks of ground off to the side.
Rectangular wooden frames were placed methodically to ensure proper space between each bed. Buckets of mulch were dumped and spread out amongst the frames. Some workers ripped open bags of soil to fill the wooden frames. Within a few hours, the many hands helped create a patchwork of raised garden beds that will not only provide a bountiful harvest but also a summer of hands on lessons for the kids who attend the Club.
“With our focus on healthy lifestyles, we are always looking for way to teach the kids how to eat healthy. To be able to do it from the ground up is going to be huge for our programming. We will hopefully be able to send food home with kids and teach them how to cook using food from our gardens,” said Brian McCarthy, Main Club Director.
The dream of installing a garden at the Club became a reality with the coordination and help from Harvest to Table – Wyoming.
“It helps to understand that food doesn’t come from a grocery story. They can understand the process from planting to harvesting. What they will learn here are skill they can take home and teach their parents how to put in a small raised garden at home.” said Eric Coates, Harvest to Table.
Throughout the summer, more than 250 kids will participate in garden activities with planting beginning the first week of Summer Camp in June. Mr. Coates will follow the garden process through the summer by providing support and lessons.
The raised garden project is made possible through many community partners including Ace Hardware, 71 Soil, Menards, Paradise Valley Country Club, and Bobcat of Casper.