Hundreds of community volunteers — including Silver Lake College students, staff, faculty and Student United Way members — got together to breathe life into the Manitowoc community garden project on Saturday, April 25, 2015, which was designated as United Way Day of Caring and Comcast Cares Day.
The volunteers helped install raised garden beds, planted and watered trees and helped build a shed in the nearly two-acre Grow It Forward community garden at 2344 S. 14th St.
“I think that volunteering is an important way to show that you’re involved in the community and support the community,” said Silver Lake College senior Mary Bettag, who added, "And it’s a nice break from studying from finals.”
“The garden is so important because I think it’s going to be an educational tool for the community as well as a space for people to come together. Today is a testament to that because we’re all coming together at the garden,” said Erin LaBonte, Assistant Professor of Art at Silver Lake College and faculty adviser to the college's Student United Way.
Silver Lake College’s Student United Way members previously painted the Manitowoc Noon Rotary’s Little Free Libraries and have been collecting books — including cookbooks and gardening books — to stock them. Two of the Little Libraries are being installed at the garden site.
Grow It Forward’s goal is to increase awareness, availability and accessibility to healthy, locally grown food in the community. Area residents will have the opportunity to plant, tend and harvest what they produce on their own plots. Children also will have a chance to learn about nutrition, the environment, gardening and arts. The garden is strictly organic. Benches will provide space for personal reflection, to gather with friends or to read.
To see photos of Silver Lake College representatives helping at the garden, please click here.