Two Saturdays ago I led a garden work party at Summerland Elementary school. I had posted signs in the weeks previous inviting kids and parents alike to come get their hands dirty and join their classmates/fellow parents in a “party” to give our little school garden a makeover. This was the first work party I had organized for Summerland and I really wanted it to be a success so I took care to prepare; checking in with the Summerland parent group about the best day and time for that community, getting donations of food and drinks to keep worker bees happy and gathering all of the materials that we’d need to get projects done. I settled on a Saturday afternoon from 12 to 4pm figuring that a four hour window would allow people to drop in and take off as they needed. I didn’t anticipate that anyone would stay and work with me the whole four hours or that we’d be able to complete all of the many garden tasks I had on my list, but I was pleasantly surprised on both counts.
Folks started showing up right at noon and the group continued to grow as the afternoon went on. We mulched the entire garden, thinned, weeded and feed our strawberries, pruned our perennials and planted new ones and so much more. And all the while we chatted about gardening, kids, the Summerland community, movies, books, you name it. Both kids and parents worked (and played), some staying the entire four hours! We completed every task that I’d thought up for the day and more and we had a really nice time doing it. The afternoon was a huge success. We worked and played, built up a garden and built community. It was really fantastic to witness and be a part of . And it reminded me of the power of community, to support one another in reaching a greater goal as well as be a comfort, collaborator and inspiration. I am thankful to my toes to all of the parents, kids and school staff for coming out to the work day. They remade our garden and renewed my faith in community.