As part of our collaboration with the City of Algona and the Algona Public Awareness Action Coalition (APAC), Futurewise has kicked off Grow with Algona and we have gotten some great environmental stewardship projects literally in the ground! In just one day, Algona residents planted 22 Pacific dogwood trees all around Matchett Park in collaboration with City staff, as part of a tree planting effort we are leading. We carefully selected dogwoods for the high-water table in Algona and the maintenance and beauty requirements of the City.
Along with the City of Algona, we led the creation of a community garden in the same park with 10 raised beds, a garden shed and water access. All 10 raised garden beds have been allocated to community residents, within a few weeks. We shared these projects with the community at the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the brand-new City Hall and Community Center adjacent to the park on April 5th. Tilth Alliance offered a free healthy gardening workshop to “kick-off” the gardens on April 13th and we are offering “starter kits” to those who are “leasing” a bed. As gardeners get started, we will be working with APAC, the City, and the gardeners to set guidelines for the shared community space. Still to come will be decisions on a fence, sign, possible compost bin, and maybe even more beds!
Grow with Algona is also working with the schools to involve kids in growing plants and learning about healthy environment and community. Alpac Elementary School students are going to have their own bed in the community garden and are growing plants in the classroom to bring into their bed with Futurewise support. We are also supporting an Alpac teacher to build terrariums and link plant growth to the water cycle. This spring Olympic Middle School students are expanding their classroom investigations into unhealthy personal care ingredients (Dirty 30) into parent and community presentations with support from Futurewise’ Toxics for Teens program. We will continue to work with the elementary and middle schools and will get the high school involved in Toxics for Teens as well.