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The children will plants seeds and water them and eventually be able to eat what they have grown! We will share the fruits of our labor with our community. Also, we will learn ways to recycle water and not waste it! Needed to start: planting soil, seeds or small plants, watering cans, gardening tools!
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With 20 hours of daylight, the garden flourished in the bush of the Alaskan tundra on the Bering Sea! It was a great success and the fence was secured to keep out the moose, rabbits, dogs and wolves. It was an ongoing process and will continue to be used hopefully for many years. In the long daylight hours of the Alaskan summer, weeds have an excellent opportunity to thrive therefore we taught children how to discern weeds from cultivated plants and some of the "weeds" such as chamomile were harvested and used for tea, food and medicine. It is much work cultivating in the acidic tundra soils however the garden progressed beautifully and with great success. Children are learning, planting, weeding, watering and observing. We worked in the garden several hours a day and Kenkamken's aana (mother in Yup'ik Eskimo language) was welcome to harvest any time although she lived quite a distance from the garden at Lake Aleknagik. "This is your garden" I explained when she visited. While still in mourning for her daughter, she was deeply moved to tears by the Kenkamken Memorial Garden. She was thoroughly touched to be engaged in the garden that bears her daughter's name in Yup'ik language. I told her that she is welcome to have the plaque that I painted and hung on the garden in Kenkamken's memory with the state flower of Alaska, Myosotis, forget-me-not painted on it. Kenkamken's aana took the plaque and I believe it is an inspiration and a blessing for her to continue to cultivate in Kenkamken's memory. Her son, Pipiisiiq will continue to cultivate in his beloved sister's memory as a way to bring comfort and beauty to his family's life. The garden was a meeting place of solace. Some made paintings of the beautiful flowers. Children delighted in hunting for peas, strawberries and spinach leaves (like Popeye consumed for strength!) every day and they loved to see the potato plants push up through the soil. The children so enjoyed tasting fresh chives and sweet baby carrots. Yup'ik elders visited and harvested and shared their ethnobotanical uses of wild harvested plants. We shared with visitors every day and welcomed all. There are some farmers' markets in the town of Dillingham however our garden produce was free! Obtaining nutritious pesticide-free produce is a great challenge in the long winters in Alaska. Many suffer from nutritional deficiencies, which in turn affects physical and mental health. Cultivating in the acidic tundra soils was a great deal of work but the garden developed beautifully, collectively and successfully. The garden will live on……and so will Kenkamken's blessed memory.
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WE WISH TO START ON JULY, NOW WE ARE READ ORGANIZING YOUTHS GROUPS WITH MORE THAN 300 YOUTHS, WE START BY PROVIDING EDUCATION
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After studying about Mason Bees, we will make homes for them. They are "solitary" bees that don't live in community hives. They instead live in separate holes in a "condo" type structure. We drilled holes in sections of 4"X 4" wood and put a roof over the openings. The mason bee only travels 300 yards or so, so these homes will be placed at B-Street near to where the crops are grown. Mason Bees are very efficient pollinators! As Summer came to an end, we have noticed that Mason Bees have taken up residence in the homes we made! Success!
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This year we have made 12 visits to B-Street, starting in the Fall with harvest and ending with our last meeting in June there. We have harvested crops, mulched fields, weeded, planted crops, built "willow houses", cooked in a cobb oven & on "rocket stoves", made "stone soup" for homeless women's shelter, built a butterfly / beneficial insect flower garden, made "mason bee" houses, studied pond life & cycles, and learned how to care for rabbits & bunnies. It has been wonderful to have a "place" to learn from and put our efforts toward making a difference. Our visits have been after-school events. As an added benefit, it has introduced Roots&Shoots families to this great community resource.
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Worcester's poor neighborhoods suffer disproportionate exposure to urban environmental health and social problems. We mainly work in the Main South and Piedmont neighborhoods, which have elevated exposure to health risks, particularly lead contamination. Soil contamination is an environmental justice issue, because it disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color in Worcester. According to the US census of 2010, 27% of individuals in the Worcester’s Main South neighborhood, where this community live, are below poverty level compare to 19% in the entire city. Older housing stock and the highway that cuts through the Main South neighborhood has also contributed to soil pollution by lead and other contaminants. As cities have far less green space than rural and suburban areas, it is of utter importance that what green space exists is suitable for use. We will educate, raise awareness, and take action with Worcester residents to reduce lead contamination in Main South and Piedmont area soils. We will do hands-on workshops that include soil sampling, interactive activities and distribution of Do-It-Yourself Lead Safe Yard Manuals. Specific action steps: --8 participatory workshops reaching 80 people, teaching them how to identify soil contaminants --12 youth trained as leaders in community environmental action --2 door-to-door outreach sessions alerting residents in high-risk areas of possible contamination, resources available and steps they can take to make safe yards --2 yards remediated --1 demonstration garden site --65 Do-It-Yourself Lead Safe Yard Manuals distributed
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I plan to first go to schools and talk to teachers and students about my hopes for this project and ask if they are interested in helping me. All of their talents could help, anything at all. My project will focus on smaller issues like recycling in schools and food waste, and bottle/can waste from parties is a huge issue overlooked among teenagers as well. I want to bring it to their attention and speak with the teachers. I also hope to discuss the possibilities of a "Gap Year" after high school while I have the chance and student's attention. I would like our community post offices to be thorough with recycling, different blanket/food drives for local SCPAS and promotion of community wide organic food. This project is most of all about making others aware of their impression on the world, and even more so, to guide them to care about their impression too.
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Create a garden with fruits and vegetables and use old pallets to make the planters.
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We'll try to successfully maintain the garden, allowing both members and non-members of our club to participate.

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