Archive for November, 2009

GfH “Mitzvah Day” Projects

November 16, 2009

Gardens for Humanity had three projects during “MitzvahDay,” the community-wide day of “good deeds” in Sedona, Arizona.

The “Karmapa Garden” at the Creative Life Center was nurtured and expanded. Below is project coordinator Jan Wind’s account of the day’s work and recognition of the participants and supporters in the community:

Thank you to all who participated in the Sedona Mitzvah Day! As part of the Mitzvah Day activities, one of the Gardens for Humanity projects was the Karmapa Peace Garden located at the Creative Life Center. It was a wonderful day. Adele Seronde, founder of the garden, and her family of gardeners were present along with the day’s Mitzvah volunteers. Activities included planting, raking, composting, watering, rock hounding, fertilizing, and creating a new garden. Thank you also to Biddle Nursery and to individuals who donated plants for this garden.

The Karmapa Peace garden hosts a variety of bulbs and perennials co-mingled with native plants, statues, a peace pole and a beautiful octagon shaped ramada to create a meditative and peaceful community garden. A new medicinal plant garden has been created around one of our favorite native plants, Globe Mallow. Cone flower and rosemary were added and the garden will continue to expand with new plant medicines.

Next spring, 2010, this garden will come alive with the energy from the day’s activities and will be a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul, wildlife and the environment.

Thank you again to all and please … visit the Karmapa Peace Garden at the Creative Life Center on Schnebly Road in Sedona.

At Kachina Point  rehabilitation center, volunteers worked on restoring a reflection garden for residents and their visiting families. Below is an account of their work and a note of appreciation by Rose Marie Licher, project coordinator:

It was a beautiful day when a dozen people began to tackle the job of dismantling a warped and no-longer useful bench-planter system in the Reflections Garden at Kachina Point Health Center.  When Gardens for Humanity (GfH) had installed the benches a dozen years ago they were situated beneath a huge cottonwood tree which provided shade while the benches prevented people from stumbling on the ancient roots protruding around the tree.

But, in the intervening years the old tree died and was removed, the benches sunk lower into the ground and the above-ground planters warped, allowing most of the soil to escape–and there was no shade.  So this Mitzvah Day became the opportunity to remove the now-useless eyesore.

I suspect it was not the job most volunteers would have wanted–to dismantle instead of build–but all worked well and steady.  How many hundreds of long screws were removed, hammers and pry-bars brought to bear when the screws refused to budge, before the job was done?  In addition, strawberry plants in one of the planters were transplanted to a half-barrel and another planter and the two apples trees planted 12 years ago were given a blanket of mulch.

Thank you so much to all of you who worked on this project!  We do so appreciate your help.  The lumber, a plastic-wood material called Trex, is still useful and is now all in my side yard, with thanks to a neighbor, a member of GfH, who brought the long pieces home in his truck.  Many of the pieces will straighten out and we plan to reuse them in some way, hopefully as planters, or as edging somewhere.  We will keep you posted and perhaps some of you can be a part of rebuilding these wood pieces on some useful project in the future.

A new garden, the “Three Sisters Garden” was begun at St. John Vianney Church. Below is a narrative of that project written by project coordinator Richard Sidy to thank the volunteers:

What we accomplished together yesterday was phenomenal! I hesitate to use the word “miraculous” although that was the first descriptive word that popped into my head. Our work was no “miracle,” but rather a result of your enthusiasm, joy, and unbelievable hard work. We literally moved tons and tons of rock and dirt from the piles by the road and turned them into a beautiful place for growth, communion and fellowship:

The pathway is an inviting detour for someone seeking escape from stress, and it will lead to a place of peace and nurturing. The garden wall in my mind is monumental, like the pyramids and temples of ancient times. For me they symbolize inner strength and cooperation — watching youth and elders working together to the very limits of their physical abilities was breathtaking! Not one person complained or slacked off during almost three hours of continuous and demanding labor. Getting the waterline from the road to the garden seemed to just “happen” when I wasn’t paying attention. The husband-wife team of Gil and Marcia Seevers worked with the same harmony I saw on every team.

Many thanks to Teri Bays who had the vision for this garden, and to Sunday Larson and Diane Dearmore who set the wheels in motion to make it a reality. Thanks also to the generous donors who contributed the money needed to purchase our materials, and thanks to the supervisors who made everything run smoothly.

Obviously we still have much to be done. Our next scheduled work day is Saturday, December 5 at 10 AM. The focus will be to fill and fence the garden. We will have a brief presentation on composting and soil-building at the beginning of our workday. Feel free to come and invite your friends to participate.

Advertisements