Garden Party to Kick Off Seminary’s Initiatives in Urban Agriculture

Garden Party to Kick Off Seminary’s Initiatives in Urban Agriculture

May 12, 2009

A Garden Party will be held in Pettigrew Heights in honor of A Growing Place, a garden for Lowell Elementary children and their families. Free and open to the public, the Garden Party will be this Thursday, May 14, from 6-8:00 p.m. at Lowell Elementary School, 18th Street and Prairie Avenue. Games, music, and food will be provided.

The Garden Party will celebrate the beginning of the gardening season for A Growing Place and introduce the idea of urban gardening to area residents. With hopes of inspiring others to get involved in A Growing Place or begin gardening projects of their own, Sioux Falls Urban Agriculture Task Force is looking for individuals to serve as garden mentors. Members of the Task Force include Sioux Falls Seminary and its partners: the City of Sioux Falls, Lowell Elementary School, Minnehaha Extension Service, Volunteers of America Dakotas/AmeriCorps VISTA, Pettigrew Heights Neighborhood Outreach, Cross Pointe Baptist Church, and Paul Carlson.

Volunteer garden mentors will partner with children at the school garden, work in pairs, or be assigned to guide neighborhood families in backyard food production. Volunteers do not need to be garden experts but should be willing to make regular visits to the school garden or neighborhood home gardens during the growing season. Potential garden mentors should have some basic understanding of growing plants, a love for people, and a desire to learn and serve. Those interested should attend the two-part training session on Wednesday, May 20, from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Minnehaha Extension Service Office (220 W. 6th Street) and on Wednesday, May 27, from 6-8:00 p.m. at Summit House (333 S. Summit Avenue). A light meal will be provided and certified Minnehaha County Master Gardeners will coach garden mentors.

Leading up to the Garden Party, Lowell Elementary schoolchildren will begin transplanting pumpkin seeds, bean seeds, onion sets, tomatoes, peppers, and other big seeded crops into the newly-constructed garden beds on May 13 and 14.

To become a garden mentor or volunteer, contact Ande Nelson at 336-2234 or andenelson@sio.midco.net. For more information on urban gardening efforts, contact Tim Olsen, Director of Operations for Summit House at Sioux Falls Seminary at 507-227-5919 or tolsen@sfseminary.edu.