Boys & Girls Club of Elgin to have city’s newest community garden
From Submitted Reports June 11, 2012 12:14PM
Updated: June 14, 2012 10:48PM
ELGIN — The community is invited to join members of the Boys & Girls Club at 9:30 a.m. Thursday as they break ground for Elgin’s newest community garden.
The garden will be across the street from the club’s 355 Dundee Ave. facility, at 355 Ann St. Boys & Girls Club staff and children will be joined by board members, area neighbors and employees from Nielsen Media Research in Schaumburg who have volunteered to help build and install the garden in one day.
The garden is funded in part through the Kane County Fit for Kids Grant program, awarded to the city of Elgin in both 2011 and 2012 to educate the community about healthful eating through the creation of vegetable gardens in stressed neighborhoods. The city has partnered with the Elgin Community Garden Network to help develop each garden plan, build the gardens and train volunteers to manage each site.
The Boys & Girls Club staff will use the garden to teach children gardening skills, healthful eating habits, and incorporate many other science, biology and chemistry lessons along the way.
“We have so many plans for incorporating the garden into our curriculum,” said Rose Reinert, executive director for the Boys & Girls Club. “The staff is just as excited as the children are.”
Donna Askins, head of the Elgin Community Garden Network, is working with the Boys & Girls Club to secure the needed materials, plan the site layout and organize the day’s event. Through her contacts, she was able to arrange a large group of volunteers from Nielsen’s Schaumburg office, who will help build and plant four raised beds on the site. In addition to providing volunteers, Neilsen has donated tools and other materials, and established a scholarship fund to the Illinois Master Gardener Program for Elgin volunteers.
A statement from the company explained its role in the event.
“Nielsen appreciates the opportunity the Elgin Community Garden Network has provided to make an uncommon impact in the community. On June 14, Nielsen associates will fan out in communities across the country in search of fun, rewarding ways to give back to the communities where they work and live,” it said.
The empty lot at 355 Ann once held a derelict home that the city purchased and demolished. Since then, the lot had been unused. Area neighbors, the Boys and Girls Club and their local ROPE officer, Robert Engelke, had discussed planting a community garden somewhere in the neighborhood. When the city made the lot available through a community garden lease program, the Boys & Girls Club entered into an agreement that will allow it to use the land.