Volunteers in the Gardens & Beyond – Fall 2019

It’s time to feature our Garden Ambassadors, aka volunteers in the gardens. The Foundation’s main focus each autumn is the Fall Festival and our contribution to it – Scarecrows in the Park. But beyond the Scarecrows fundraising effort lies a world of volunteer activity that is seldom witnessed, yet readily apparent. As our snowbird volunteers come flooding back, they are eager to get their hands into the soil and work the magic that makes Lakes Park look so good. It’s our mission – enhancing the beauty and experience of Lakes Park through volunteerism, donations, and membership.  Here are some photos collected over the past few months to demonstrate how it all happens.

It starts with “dirt day”…

Green Care Recycling delivers soil to the Children's Garden at Lakes Park

Green Care Recycling donated 10 yards of potting soil for the Children’s Garden and 5 yards of organic compost for the Community Garden. Green Care, YOU ROCK! Please CLICK THE PHOTO to visit Green Care Recycling online.

… and then Kathy B’s “A Team” of Garden Ambassadors comes swooping in!

Soil is spread in the ABC garden bed by a Lakes Park "A Team" volunteer

Soil is spread in the ABC bed in the Children’s Garden by a Lakes Park “A Team” volunteer

“A Team” volunteer Kathy displays some donated gardening tools

"A Team" volunteer Michelle plants veggies in the ABC garden bed

“A Team” volunteer Michelle plants veggies in the ABC garden bed. The eventual harvest from this bed will be donated to the Community Cooperative soup kitchen in Fort Myers.

Recent addition to the "A Team" - Betsy is sorting seeds.

Recent addition to the “A Team” – Betsy is sorting seeds. A few weeks later, she would be seen (wo)manning the Foundation’s plant sale table at the Farmer’s Market

 Keeping the Children’s Garden tidy – “A Team” volunteer Kathy K (we have many Kathys!) with two of our favorite FGCU volunteers – Sydney and Brendan

Elvy Goldstein displays new signage for the ABC garden bed.

Elvy Goldstein displays new signage for the ABC garden bed. These are designed to help young visitors learn their ABCs while discovering where food comes from and how it grows.

A closer look at Elvy's plant markers for the Children's Garden.

A closer look at Elvy’s plant markers for the Children’s Garden. So creative and whimsical – thank you, Elvy!

Now, on to the Rose Garden!

Kathy Busick and Ann Krull went rose bush shopping with our friends at Riverland Nursery

Kathy Busick and Ann Krull went rose bush shopping at Riverland Nursery. Ann attended a workshop last year to learn about growing roses in Florida. Now she is applying what she has learned for the benefit of the community. Thank you, Ann!

Ann, Roger, and Karen dig holes for the new rose bushes

Ann, Roger, and Karen dig holes for the new rose bushes in Lakes Park’s Rose Garden. Thanks to our volunteers in the gardens, we can’t wait to see the new plants thriving here!

Meanwhile, at the Lakes Park Farmer’s Market…

Foundation Board director Robin Baum at our booth at the Lakes Park Farmer's Market

Foundation Board director Robin Baum at our booth at the Lakes Park Farmer’s Market. All of the Foundation’s Board directors are registered Lee County Volunteers. Thank you for your service, Robin!

The Foundation's booth at the Farmer's Market - stop by and say hello next time you're there!

The Foundation’s booth at the Farmer’s Market – stop by and say hello next time you’re there! Make a donation, sign up for our email blast, pick up a brick engraving form, shop our selection of hand-propagated plants, or just stop for a chat. We’d love to meet you! The Lakes Park Farmer’s Market runs on Wednesdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, October through April. PERFECT for breakfast or lunch – and of course, for shopping the best local produce!

Master Gardener volunteer Paula Novander assists a shopper with plant selection.

Florida Master Gardener volunteer Paula Novander assists a shopper with plant selection. Paula also leads our Botanic Garden Tours, which occur on the 2nd Saturday each month, October through April. Meet at the Community Garden sign by 9:00 AM.

And as for the Community Garden…

The Community Garden beds at Lakes Park are aging out and slowly being replaced. Time and weather take their toll, and the building materials start to decompose. We are seeking donations and grants to help pay for garden bed replacement, the cost of which is high. Our volunteers are clever though, and committed to the cause! Thanks to them, this set of beds will survive to feed people and bring joy to gardeners for another year.

Want to help?
CLICK HERE to donate and select “Community Garden” from the option menu – thank you! 

Volunteer Dave Bowman helps to repair one of the Community Garden beds.

Volunteer Dave Bowman helps to repair one of the Community Garden beds.

Tarin Viskovic, a visitor from abroad, volunteered to help with Community Garden bed repairs.

Tarin Viskovic, a visitor from abroad, volunteered to help with Community Garden bed repairs. We appreciate you SO much, and we are so honored that you spent some of your visit to SWFL as a volunteer in our park – THANK YOU!

READ MORE about how to get involved at Lakes Park!

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