A community garden connects kids and personalized learning to an entire township. It provides an outdoor classroom for school children, scouts, and other educational groups.
A onetime weedy patch of ground outside the Fremont Township offices is now a bountiful garden with many varieties of organic herbs and vegetables, thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteer Alicia Dodd.
For the past four years, Dodd has transformed the raggedy patch of land into a literal garden of earthly delights. The garden is now the main source of fresh produce for the township food pantry, but it is also a conservation center, outdoor classroom, and project site for students and other groups.
“Why do I still do it? I get a lot of satisfaction working with the volunteer kids or adults and sharing in their excitement as they learn new things and try new foods,” she says. “I like to provide nutritious produce for those in need.”
The garden has additional project areas, such as a solar powered shed, bee hives, a cob house topped with a green roof, and a bug motel. People often stop by to look and find out mofe.
“It’s really an outreach to our community to become involved and learn more than how to plant vegetables,” said Fremont Township Supervisor Diana O’Kelly. “She’s a resource to so many people.”
The garden is a hub of activity. Sixth graders are using it as part of a personalized learning program in District 79. “I feel it’s a natural, organic connection between the township, the garden and the school,” said O’Kelly