Weekly garden upkeep and harvesting throughout summer
Volunteers are needed for weekly garden upkeep on Wednesdays 10-11:30 a.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.- noon, to tend to the plots and gather produce for use and donation all summer long.
What started in 2007 as a partnership between the Park District of Highland Park and Moraine Township to build a garden to grow fresh produce for the Moraine Township Food Pantry, has grown to some 30 plots. In 2012, the North Shore Health Center was invited to collaborate and 23 of the 30 plots were set aside for patients who wanted the opportunity to cultivate their own plot of land. Not only were these families required to maintain their plot, but they were also required to donate a part of their harvest to the Moraine Township Food Pantry.
The township says the program has been a complete success, both due to the diligence of the families and the generosity of Friends For Health and community donations. The donations go towards covering the cost of the plants and gardening supplies.
Friends For Health is a non-profit organization that supports preventative health services and programs at the North Shore Health Center in Downtown Highland Park.
Gaby Ocampo, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the North Shore Health Center, has been organizing this project practically from its inception.
“We could not do this without the help of our many volunteers, as well as the help of master gardeners, Sandy Washburn and Linda Mihel, and other indispensable workers include Sam Piro.” said Gaby Ocampo, health and wellness coordintor for the North Shore Health Center. “What is most exciting for me is to see the families working together, having lots of fun and really seeing how their own hard work can help the health and well-being of their families in the community.”