On September 11, over 50 volunteers convened at Lansing City Market to work on their new native plant garden. Volunteers came from all over the Greater Lansing Region and from different backgrounds to help with this project.
The idea for this project first came about last spring when we decided that we needed to beautify the area along Lansing’s River Trail that sits between the Lansing Center, a regional convention center, and ourselves at the Market. This area had been long since neglected since construction ended on the new Lansing City Market which opened three years ago. After talking about a few ideas we settled on a native plant garden because it would add to the natural landscape of the Lansing River Trail. We also realized that we could incorporate lessons with our already in place programming that would not only make the space a beautiful one but an educational one.
We immediately teamed up with the Red Cedar Chapter of Wild Ones, a native plant organization, who developed the plan for the project and who ultimately awarded us a grant which covered the majority of the plants needed for the project. After receiving additional funding through the 9/11 National Day of Service and Day of Remembrance grant we were prepared to complete our project with the help of volunteers.
The day itself went on without a hitch which is always the goal for any volunteer coordinator. We had the plants, the wood chips, the snacks for the day and the volunteers showed up in droves. We had AmeriCorps members from all over, including folks from Healthy Kids Healthy Futures in Battle Creek, Wild Ones volunteers, college students, some AmeriCorps Alums from the Power of We Consortium, and even some veterans. It was a great day where we accomplished all of our tasks including cleaning up before our end time. We felt especially accomplished because the second that the plants were done we started seeing bees and a lady bug so we knew that our work was done!
This, of course is an on-going project and our little plants need lots of love and water. At some point every day you’ll see a volunteer or two out there watering. We are looking forward to next spring when our little ones pop out from the snow.
-Submitted by Heather Hymes, Lansing City Market Manager