How a Learning Project Helps the Community2 min read

Several years ago, Trinity, Clinton Township purchased a parcel of land which contained a house. Repairs to the house would have been expensive, so it was torn down. The land sat vacant until 2015, when Trinity’s Cub Scout Pack 157 approached the church with a plan for a community garden. The scouts planted crops and started learning about gardening. But they also learned about providing produce to the less fortunate through the Trinity Food Pantry.

For its second year, the scouts wanted to make some enhancements to the garden and also the land. The Pack, including parent volunteers, cleared the land of debris in the spring of 2016, including cutting down a dead tree. Through a Thrivent Action Team grant, the Pack assembled raised boxes for the gardens and filled them with soil to provide an optimal bed for the crops. The scouts also received monetary donations from Compass Technologies and Electronic Fire Protection to fund the enhancements.

“The garden is doing well this year,” said Vicki Jahn, Pack 157 parent volunteer. “We have already harvested some zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans. We also have cabbage and watermelon coming up.”

There were also herbs in the garden, which came as part of a donation from Deneweth’s Garden Center in Macomb.

While the Scouts and the parent volunteers have started the garden and take care of it, many volunteers have also helped maintain it this summer.

“We put a call out for volunteers earlier in the spring and we’ve had a good response,” said Jahn. “We encouraged those who were interested in helping to ‘adopt’ the garden for a week at a time. They helped with watering, weeding, and harvesting. We had individuals, but also families, who have come out and worked on the garden together.”

Jahn said Trinity member and community garden neighbor Lewis Thumm has also been an asset to the garden. With no running water on the garden property, the Scouts fill up a large reservoir for watering. Thumm lets the Scouts use his hose and water to keep the portable watering tank full.

Everything harvested from the garden is given to the Trinity Food Pantry, which serves those in need in the community. The pantry gives out non-perishables, along with some frozen foods and toiletries, to those who need help. The community garden allows Trinity to also give out fresh produce.

“As we keep saying, this garden is better than last year, but not as good as next year,” said Jahn. “We hope to keep growing the garden and the impact it has on the Scouts and the community.”

Photos courtesy of Rebecca Thomas/Trinity

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About the Author

Rebecca Thomas is the communications director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton Township and a freelance writer serving the Metro Detroit area. When she's not crafting her next article, she's hanging out with her husband, three daughters and two Newfoundlands.

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