Greetings from Park Place; Deni here… recovering from an amazing week last week!

Big, NO: HUGE Shout out to Mark Walden for his incredible skills at Coordinating the building of Not ONE but TWO Hoop Houses that were built in 2 and a half days to allow students and young adults with special needs to garden in the winter months.  this is a River’s Way Project; check them out via Facebook!  Funding was provided by the Morning Rotary Club of Bristol TN.  Another Shout Out to Holly for taking such great pictures!  What a way to start a VISTA position… Welcome to the Grow Appalachia Family!

Park Place is a new project of ASD.  It began last winter as an idea to resurrect a struggling community garden and has been so successful THANKS to the support of Grow Appalachia that our dreams to create a truly unique “garden to table” project is coming true.  Teams of special needs students from two area high schools united to work together to build a hoop house gardening area that will provide produce for a lunch program for senior citizens.

Pounding footer posts Team workSecuring Hoops

These students had a fantastic work opportunity last week.  Many of them suffer from self confidence issues and came away from the project with not only new skills but with lifted confidence in their abilities to follow directions, provide strength, be part of a team project , and provide encouragement to others. No matter what job they were given, they worked with smiles and helped one another to accomplish the task of goal at hand.  It was AMAZING!

using toolspower toolsplastic on 2wiggle wire

And for those of you familiar with ASD’s work in the past, you’ll see our friend Heather working alongside these kids too.  Heather has a new position at the local community college as the  greenhouse manager; (again, thanks to Grow Appalachia – Heather learned about her love of growing plants) and has been hired by River’s Way to work with students in the hoop houses; helping them harvest produce and prepare meals.

heather helps

If I could only share the true emotions of this project I would.  All the long hours of work are paying off; not only on the ground growing gardens but for the people that this project touches.  I thank YOU! ALL!