Good-Bye Garden Girls!
August 8th was the last day for our AmeriCorps VISTA School Garden Coordinators, Rebekka Brown and Carol Parks. They were the third generation of AmeriCorps VISTAs working on the Ames School Garden Project. Each focused on a garden at a local elementary school while working together to support other school gardens in the district and advocating for environmental stewardship in Ames.
Over their year these VISTAs have done a variety of projects and events to work towards their goal of ensuring the sustainability of gardens after they leave and as school renovations physically move the gardens. The VISTAs have:
- supervised Garden Clubs for elementary students
- managed volunteers on garden work days
- assisted students to run a Farmer’s Market
- completed a waste-sort and composting project
- assisted teachers with classroom activities related to the garden
They also recruited teachers and community members to work together to ensure the sustainability of the gardens for years to come. Ames Community School District is working on renovating the schools. Kate Mitchell Elementary, which had a garden for three years, is in the process of moving the garden. This is giving the new garden committee a year to plan and set their goals.
Rebekka and Carol through a good-bye and garden celebration potluck on August 8th. They presented memory boxes and helpful materials such as a garden manual to the new groups who will be taking care of the gardens. Community members, teachers and partners turned out to celebrate the garden projects and looks towards the future.
Rebekka will start graduate school at Iowa State to study Sustainable Environments in the College of Design. Carol and her husband are moving to Florida and then Brazil to be closer to her family.
We will miss you Garden Girls! Good luck on your next adventures!