Whidbey News-Times


Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club gives back

January 14, 2013 · Updated 3:20 PM

Lexi Jones, Brianna Chamberlain, Ethan Chamberlain and Teddy Brimeyer of the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club work on the Giving Garden. The club was recently recognized for their charitable contributions to the people of Oak Harbor with a $2,500 grant from the Boys and Girls Club of America. / Contributed photo

The Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club was recently recognized by the Boys and Girls Club of America for their charitable contributions to the city and people of Oak Harbor. As part of a nation-wide community services project contest the Oak Harbor Boys and Girls Club Giving Garden was selected as the most outstanding example of community service and giving from among 10 finalist entries.

For all of their hard work, long hours and dedication to the community the Boys and Girls Club of America honored the kids with the “Kids Give Back” contest prize of a $2,500 grant to continue their project and good work. Look forward to more and better great ideas from local kids to help out their community.

The Giving Garden project was conceived by Program Director Norrie Perreault and funded through a $500 grant from the Boys and Girls Club of America. All of the Boys and Girls Club staff and members participated in making it a success.

The project consisted of creating a large garden on the property of the Roller Barn, which is the site of the club, and donating all of the fruits and vegetables that were grown to the community food bank.

The kids and staff first had to clear the land that was selected for the garden plot and then haul in enough clean sand and top soil to make the plot a healthy garden area. They then selected the types and quantities of plants that they wanted to grow and planted them in individual plots. Then came the feeding and watering that ensured that the whole project would be a huge success.

Staff and members had to carry water to the garden site for several weeks until a water line could be run, cut the grass for mulch that became a much needed nutrient for the soil and continuously weed and rake the garden plots to ensure a healthy crop. During all of this activity they even found the time to build a small green house on the site for the more fragile plants to prosper and grow.

When it came time to harvest, all of the club members and staff were excited to see the “fruits” of their labors. Strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, radishes and vegetables of all kinds were eagerly harvested and donated to the local food banks for distribution to those in need in the community.

The kids and staff had a great time learning about the growing process and what it takes to make a successful garden work. They learned the importance of proper preparation of the ground, water and mulch and how to tend the garden to make it prosper.

If you would like to learn more about this project or would like to become involved in the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor to help local kids become great citizens and role models for the community, contact the club at 360-240-9273 or bgcoh@comcast.net.


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