A seed of an idea is sprouting into something much larger at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County’s Middlebury Clubhouse.
Students are getting ready for Earth Day by planting seeds for a much larger project. With the help of volunteers from Grand Design, they’ll be learning about the growing process all summer long.
Grand Design has constructed 10 raised planter boxes that will be filled with herbs, flowers and vegetables this summer. Is part of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workshop called Botany Crew.
“We will talk about the process from planting to table. We’ll also be going to Riverbend Park to see what plants naturally grow in this area,” said Emily Keyser, Middlebury Club education supervisor.
The goal of the program is to help members understand the importance of plants in our environment and how agriculture plays a role in our community as well.
“I feel like we live around farmland, but they may not know the work that goes into farming. They will hopefully learn the importance of plants in the larger ecosystem,” she said.
Grand Design jumped on board and made it part of an Earth Day initiative for the company.
“Corporate-wide we do an Earth Day initiative every year. We wanted to be able to do something that benefitted the kids as much as it benefits the earth,” said Emily Stahley, Grand Design’s director of owner and community outreach. “For us to be able to give back in ways like this is an incredible opportunity.”
The volunteers helped the kids plant the initial seeds for the garden and will be working with them to paint and install the boxes.
Middlebury Area Director Erin McNeal said volunteers like these play an important role in broadening the perspective of Club members.
“We’re always excited when people want to come in and share their gifts and talents with the kids,” she said.
In addition to the efforts of people at Grand Design, McNeal is hoping others in the community can play a role as well. Club representatives have been working with an area senior living community to see if residents will come throughout the summer.
“We’re hoping they can teach the kids how to care for the plants and maybe share skills in other areas, too,” McNeal said.