MLK Day 2011 Wrap-up.

Because of the economic downturn, needs in our community are particularly great right now. Addressing the challenge of access to and affordability of health food in our community will take a sustained effort, and we hope many who are served on the 2011 MLK Day of Service will make an ongoing commitment to serve throughout the year.

Total # of Volunteers: 864 Total Volunteers – 196 Adults – 411 College Age* – 16 High School Students – 243 Middle/Elementary

*College Age reflects Campus Kitchens Volunteers making lunches on Sat and Mon.

Garden Sites: Baylor Campus, Brazos Middle, Calvary Community, Columbus Avenue, Cottage Retirement, Hewitt Community, Hillcrest Professional Development School, Lake Shore Baptist, Rapoport Academy, Sul Ross Elementary, Tennyson Middle, University Baptist, West Ave. Elementary, Woodway Elementary, World Hunger Relief Farm

Participating Partners:

  • Urban Gardening Coalition, Master Gardeners, Master Composters, HealthCorps, CIS AmeriCorps, Campus Kitchens, Community Race Relations Coalition (“everyone worked together as a team to make the day productive and memorable”).
  • The Power of Prevention Coalition led activities at the Cottage Retirement Garden.
  • The Mayor of Hewitt came to the Hewitt Community Garden to present the MLK Day Proclamation.  Waco Mayor Jim Bush came to the dedication ceremony at the Baylor Campus Garden.  Baylor University President Kenneth Starr led the reflection activity at the Baylor Campus Garden.
  • Other schools that participated: JH Hines Elementary, Live Oak Classical, University Middle School, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Brook Ave Elementary

Celebrating the legacy of Dr. King:

  • There were people from multiple generations, ethnicities and income levels working together in the garden.
  • Service to beautify and provide nutrition for an urban location with high homeless population.
  • Discussed service and love and how to carry on the legacy in the community.
  • The Calvary Community Garden is primarily on effort to reconcile the neighborhood into a strong community. This supports MLK’s vision for an world without racial, social, or economic barriers.
  • Dr. King was about service and the purpose of our garden is to serve the community. We mean [the Baylor Campus Garden] to be a teaching and feeding mechanism that will bring the community together. This will also serve as a visual representation of the growth that occurs when community partners collaborate.
  • MLK stood for the poor and our food will supply food for the hungry.

Stories from the Event:

  • Calvary Community Garden: We generated a lot of support for the community garden project. We taught some people what a community garden even is, and were able to cast our vision to a wider variety of people than normal.
  • Sul Ross Elementary : Our students who brought family members with them to volunteer were very enthusiastic in showing their family members around the garden “mom I painted that sign”, “this is my compost experiment”, “I planted these carrots”, etc. It was fun to watch the families interact and very encouraging seeing the excitement on both sides. There is a rosemary bush that two students planted in the fall of 2009 that has gotten quite big in our herb garden. One of these students was at the event with her mom and they took a cutting from the bush home to plant in their garden. I thought this illustrated our dream that the school garden would make its way from the students to families.
  • Tennyson Middle School: Students enjoyed sharing about their summer plans to volunteer.
  • Woodway Elementary: Teachers came out into the garden with their students and shared about maintaining the garden throughout the spring, finally harvesting and cooking the potatoes and onions at the end of the school year – making taquitos, potato salad, and more. Many of the teachers emphasized how important it is for them to help the kids understand that food is grown in dirt – and they enjoy being able to share the growing cycle with their students.

 

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