• The initial planting of items by POC staffing allowed for the start of growing season. Tomatoes, Tomatillos, Kale, Onions, and a variety of peppers were planted
• An abundance of sunflowers for families to view and take photos near
• Outdoor Tai Chi classes for community members and gardeners
• Adapting to health, safety, and legality of COVID specific times. Implementing policies and procedures that ensured everyone wore masks and would practice social distancing.
• Community support by offering volunteer efforts to make for a successful growing season
• Lastly, donations made by gardeners were dropped off weekly to POC to help reach families that were unable to make the commitment for the 2020 growing season. This helped to provide healthy fruits, vegetables, and herbs to more families in need
What challenges did or does your project face?
Challenge 1: COVID and CDC safety guidelines. This limited the number of participating members and number of individuals we could have attending on M/W evenings.
Challenge 2: Weeds. Gardeners are developing safe ways to handle the weeds to better prepare plot spaces for next year.
Challenge 3: Funding/Strengthening local partnerships
How are you working to overcome them?
Challenge 1: Resolution: Educating ourselves and paying close attention to COVID-19 information being released daily and weekly.
Challenge 2: Resolution: Working with master gardeners and the Palatine Park District to seek advice on garden and weed maintenance
Challenge 3: Providing tours and reading material on the purpose and intent of Roots so that we can onboard new donors and partners. Increasing social media presence.
What did you or your project learn this season that might be useful to others as well?
Keeping people involved virtually allows them to feel connected and impacted. Despite a pandemic, donors were interested in updates and still wanting to lend themselves to projects and supported by purchasing tools or other garden essentials.
Having safe opportunities for youth at your garden space gives adults the time to learn from each other and offer suggestions to maximize harvest for those in need.