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Beautification Update 5/2023

Welcome to updates for the Beautification Committee and Community Gardens for Wellington Heights Cedar Rapids, Iowa #WHCRIA


One of Two

Two - One-minute films produced from the launch event. #1 Welcome Back Community Gardens. Demonstrating passion and persistence.

Like and share on YouTube. Help the channel grow. Keep up with more to come with part two, Day or Caring progress 🌱💪🏼

Meet the Mascot

A starving dying ferrel kitten the size of a baseball is found under a porch. Rescued by a group neighborhood effort.


Now, a thriving local emerging celebrity. Please welcome Floofe' Flower to the Wellington Heights volunteer force. Ready to promote the community gardens and meet her adoring fans.


On her first official duty, Ms. Flower secured a donation. Picked up four cases of Perlite and three bales of Peat from our local Cedar Rapids Lowes Home Improvement.


The More We Know

Since 1994 the community gardens have seen ups and downs. Covid and Derecho began nailing the coffin shut. Garden futures became uncertain. 29-year journey captured here in April 2023's committee update.


How We Do It Now

It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” Warren Buffet

 

Tip: The people around you matter. Surround yourself with people better and smarter than you. It’s amazing how much you can grow (better community together) 


Know Your Friends

The Beautification Committee surrounds itself with people in and outside of Wellington Heights who we all learn from. These seeds sometimes go unnoticed until the fruits of labor produce results.


May's blog is dedicated to acknowledging many nouns: people, places, and things that make this kick-start seed to grow better community gardens together happen.


Early Thanksgiving

Growing a better community together is a process including teamwork of neighbors and others who believe in Wellington Height's success. Whether a single mom living down the street. Or, a Cedarapian who is able to share their gifts or donation of tools. To a business or non-profit that partners with supplies.


Whatever the connection, care, and kindness shared are invaluable within the ecosystem of love for this community.


Exploding Success

This month's blog thanks those souls who made our kick-off a ginormous success. Combined with dedicated planning and people moving forward sky's the limit in what we accomplish together.


Hip Hop - Reno Don't Stop

Short film two shares content from the launch event. #2 titled, Community Garden Reno. Dance to this colorful fun and a little time-lapse magic.

Like and share on YouTube. Help the channel grow. Keep up with more to come with part two, Day or Caring progress 🌱💪


Trash Talk

To everyone picking up trash on random days, we appreciate you. From individuals like the gentleman on his scooter, WHCC who held a community event, and Olivia organizing Litter Critters with her schoolmates. Thank you for helping us all build a better community together.


Friends in Many Places

Thank you, Phil Pfister, Dave Mahlke, Ann Tow, Bob Dvorak, Beula Dvorak, and Sarah-Anne for making this kicking-off community gardens event a magical success.


The bed's replacements look incredible. We thank the Linn Cty Master Gardeners for sharing a grant and all involved with making this renovation possible.


At the Moment

BC focuses on community garden rehabs partnered with the Master Gardeners and United Way support along with other experts. With the help of grants, material donations, and volunteers we are on course to a successful part two on Day of Caring.


In April garden beds are revitalized through the generosity of expert bed carpentry guidance of Philip Pfister. Special thanks to Beula, Bob, Jane, Dave, Sarah-Anne, Kim, Ann, and all who worked together to make this day happen. And, Deb Wade for offering her expertise, answering questions, and guidance on independent water sourcing prep for the gardens.


Rock Stars

Neighbors: Nikki, Amanda, Jeff, Alissa, Sarah, and Tina for contacting the BC or stopping by to connect sharing your interest, expertise, and needs. This helps us create a plan that serves the community better in partnership with many citywide Master Gardeners.


United We Stand

Special thanks to Angelica and Elizabeth at United Way for gathering Day of Caring troops. Setting up a meeting to rally regular support throughout the season on an ongoing basis.


Jaymie McGrath and team are a force for May 11th, Day of Caring. Many trucks and help for the community gardens move the progress ahead, plotted (pun intended) with the MG's. We appreciate the support and partnership to grow a better community together.


Trash to Treasure

We are so grateful for the City of Cedar Rapids Mt Trashmore compost and mulch donation. Help loading trucks and the self-loading area used for the Jeep that helped us begin.


Partner ❤️

Thank you, Lowes Home Improvements on Blairsferry Road 🛠️ Your generous donation of organic peat and perlite means the nutrients are better than ever. Benefitting the fruits of our labor and those we serve together.


There's still work to do, but we are off to an epic start.


Part One

We have installed and replaced most beds in the 390 gardens. Began early produce. Here we will host annual varieties that rotate like tomatoes, broccoli, and herbs. Peace Corner will host many perennial options like asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, and raspberries. Though garlic has a permanent location long term.


2023

This year is about rebuilding stronger. Get the ecosystem of growth going. Establishing relationships. Visiting other farms to help, learn, and partner. Grow better community together.


The curiosity, encouragement, and commitment of neighbors and friends of the community is inspiring.


Children are Our Future

Unfortunately, we weren't able to host the local children this spring due to construction. But, have established connections and interest in supporting future events hosting students.


When Do We Eat?

Following Day of Caring a Little Free Farmers Market is being built to include an outdoor prep kitchen and inclusion of a picnic table for the Seed to Table Cooking Show episodes and small workday gatherings to celebrate the harvest efforts of #WeedParty and #GrowParty events.


Throughout the month individuals, such as neighbors and visiting garden enthusiasts will help with tiny tasks as they are able. Whether planting or weeding for a few minutes or an afternoon, all are welcome regardless of ability.


Weed VS Plant

The struggle is real. If you are not sure what a weed is fear not. If you have never planted a seed, no sweat. We have many experienced people who can help learners at any level.


Once comfortable with whatever task you find interesting stop by and give it a try anytime. We only ask please do not pull out a fruit or vegetable plants while it's growing. Only weeds.


Produce for All

Our motto for harvest in the FFM (Free Farmers Market) or still on the plant or vine comes from Fear the Walking Dead: "Take what you need. Leave what you don't".


Items delivered to the elderly and families or wait for your shopping trip to the FFM as produce matures. This will sometimes include family gardener donations and urban farm visit drop-offs. There is no schedule except when the sun and photosynthesis say so. When ripe will be ready.


The free farmer market strategy is evolving. We welcome suggestions for what works in your community 😁


If any of this sounds like fun or have a suggestion submit it at (319) 308-8808.


Grow Pot

A pilot program in Wellington Heights is for neighbors to grow gardens at home. Such as apartment potted plants like tomatoes or flowers. If this interests you call (319) 308-8808. There are two members so far. We have room for a few more novices currently.


Bright Future

5000 plus miles later, Kim saw hundreds of murals and mosaics around the country for ideas on her April road trip with family. Including a special community in Northern California like Wellington Heights. Vintage properties partnered with street art and 3D murals. Even the power boxes told stories in paintings.


While in Philadelphia saw the most amazing landscapes of multiple-story buildings covered in murals. Brooklyn NY, her hometown, there is a history of tagging known as graffiti. Though now with legal permission has transformed once-forgotten spaces.


These ideas are helping shape committee projects, such as Little Libraries and a pilot project to create mosaic art on street corners.


“We are limited only by our imagination and our will to act.” Ron Garan, The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the Big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles


Christina Ferrell, Kim Phillips, and Jayne Ferrell posing at the mural on the corner of 4th Ave SE and 16th Street. The Paul Engle Center now known as Wellington Heights Community Church.


Committee Meetings

May's meeting is on the Day of Caring, the 11th. Monthly planning corresponds to MG and or group event scheduling until further notice.


In-person or digital meetings and rebroadcasting on the committee's youtube channel are being considered. If interested and for more information text or call (319) 308-8808.


Next blog update will arrive in July.


Combine Day of Caring, multiple #GrowParty adventures, and much more. We are blessed by the generosity of people, donations of materials, and a lot of one and done projects to set up the gardens. Repair fence damage by an uninsured motorist, organizing volunteers, strategies for laying the foundation of gardening based on the changes, and time with the seeds and sprouts.


We appreciate your deduction to keeping up to date 😁


Donate

Once the Free Farmers Market is set up extra produce is welcome 24/7. Seeds will be accepted for the Seed Library when we announce this is set up. Whether a weed queen, king, whatever your interest, or a cash donation we appreciate any support you can offer.


Questions or interest in helping text or call (319) 308-8808. Please share your name, email, and the best time to chat.


Happy Spring! Kind regards from the Beautification Committee and all our many members throughout the city. We welcome all regardless of ability or background. See you soon 😁

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