There is no one answer to expanding access and making produce affordable, but community gardens can be a vital part of the solution, and it is one that is often overlooked.

The 2016 Leadership Thurston County class decided to take part in a volunteer activity at the end of our 10-month session, and decided to work with Habitat for Humanity.  It was an easy choice as we had visited the Deyoe Vista community as part of our program.

LTC Class 2016The 2016 LTC class committed to building a community garden for South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity’s development, Deyoe Vista in Lacey, WA.

Our group committed to raising funds to purchase the supplies so that we could fulfill our goal to help those in our community who will most benefit from our help.

In July 2016, Shari Aldrich, LMP and Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage donated money to a project with Habitat for Humanity and Leadership Thurston County.  The funds went to purchase supplies to build 33 planter boxes at the Deyoe Vista development.  Increasing low income families access here in Thurston County to affordable nutritious food. By creating a community garden infrastructure we can grow a better future for these hardworking families.

Today, school owner Shari Aldrich and most of the 2016 LTC class took part in building 23 of the boxes – which included building the beds, filling them with dirt and surrounding the boxes with beauty bark.  The garden beds are now ready for families in the Deyoe Vista Development to plant good and healthy food.

The work was exhausting yet our group performed tirelessly for hours alongside Habitat for Humanity staff and volunteers.  High fives and celebratory hugs at the end of the day amongst all who participated.

A September 17 celebration for the families at Deyoe Vista will take place, and the planter boxes will be dedicated.  It was a true pleasure to take part in the activities today and to know that our efforts will help support families in Thurston County for years to come.

The beginning of raised bed creation
The beginning of raised bed creation
The end of the day - completed raised planter beds
The end of the day – completed raised planter beds