As temperatures reached the upper 90s last week, Enshayan led a crew of AmeriCorps members to Sperry-Weber’s home on Reber Avenue in Waterloo. AmeriCorps volunteers Felix Navarrete, Kara Grady and Lars Christiason helped dig a new garden spot for Sperry-Weber, who grabbed a rake and got to work as well.
“This is awesome to me. I really appreciate you guys doing this for me. I really do,” Sperry-Weber said.
To which Enshayan happily replied, “Of course. That’s the idea.”
Nearly 80 area residents and organizations have signed up for A Garden in Every Lot. Crews have put in almost 40 so far.
“We hope many more want to have fresh veggies of their own. It has been so amazing to connect with so many community members, elderly and others who always wanted a vegetable garden but did not know where to start. We are taking all the barriers away,” Enshayan said.
The project has many community partners, including the Leighty Foundation, which provided funding for equipment through a grant from Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Work is carried out by AmeriCorps members, including UNI students and staff. Through the funding the program received a truck, trailer and tillers.
“The idea is to popularize the culture of gardening among us, and really it is most about being outside, being with plants and soil, for mental health and for community building, and some fresh vegetables as a bonus,” Enshayan said.
Originally Appeared Here