Short Story

This Awesome Experience started as an Earth Day project for Grand Design employees and has “sprouted” into volunteer opportunities to work with Club members and create garden beds for them to “grow”.

Grand Design proudly sponsors
Earth Day Every Day 2023

  • $5,000.00

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  • $3,000.00

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Jim Pinkerton

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Campaign Story

Earth Day may be celebrated each April, but members at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Elkhart County get the opportunity to take part in it all year long. This Awesome Experience allows them to see how important plants are to our environment and how agriculture plays a role in our community.

From planting seeds and watching them sprout, maintaining raised garden beds and learning about the environment and ecosystem in our STEM programming, they are getting real hands-on experience.

  • 4-17-23

    Grand Design Volunteers Help Club Members Plant Seeds

    Kids and adult volunteers planting seeds

    Kids planting seeds with the help of adult volunteers

    Adult volunteer helping kids plant seeds

    Woman helping young girl plant seeds

    Group shot of volunteers with club members

    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 want them to be exposed to and be able to recognize the importance of plants.

    “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.

  • 5-18-2023

    Plants are in the ground!

    Group of kids working in the dirt to prepare for plants.

    Several planter boxes with newly planted vegetables.

    Girl with small shovel preparing planter box for plants.

    Girl planting vegetables in the dirt.

    Young girl planting strawberries in planter box.

    Young girl and adult mentor preparing plants to go into the ground.

    Boy pushing dirt around plant inside a planter box.

    We love giving members Awesome Experiences. The folks at Grand Design RV built these planters for the Middlebury Club and have been working with the kids to get them ready to grow! Now, the plants are in the dirt and we’ll watch how they progress throughout the summer!

  • 7-14-2023

    Members Explore Riverbend Park For Colors

    Two girls exploring different leaves at a park. Group of children standing in front of a tree holding up sheets of paper. Girls holding up sheets of paper while standing in front of large tree trunk.

    As part of our Earth Day Every Day Awesome Experience sponsored by Grand Design RV our members are taking part in a botany club all summer. Here they are at Riverbend Park finding different colors in nature. They love getting a chance to leave the Clubhouse for adventures like this and exploring the nature that surrounds them!

  • 08-04-2023

    Members Seeing Fruits Of Their Labor

    Small green tomatoes on a plant. Variety of flowers in a planter box. Green peppers on the plant. Small green tomatoes on a plant.

    As part of our Earth Day Every Day Awesome Experience, kids at the Middlebury Club have been watching plants grow. The folks at Grand Design RV built planter boxes and helped the kids plant seeds for the project. Just look at what’s been growing this summer! They’ve loved watching the transformation!