Hi folks. John Kelly here.. 

It’s today! It’s today! It’s the “Who Deserves a Garden Giveaway” announcement day!
Take a look to see who our well-deserving winners are for this year! 
Special thanks to Nohre & Co for sponsoring a SECOND winner this year. Our community is awesome!

Nomination for Isaiah Wagoneer from Stacey Brown:

Last year, Isaiah Wagoneer (then a sophomore at Augusta High School) wanted to do something to help out his community. 

Isaiah coordinated the effort to start a community garden in Augusta. He recruited his football team and students from his shop class to build raised beds to grow vegetables to distribute to those in need in the community. He appealed to the city to gain use of some land near the city’s pumphouse for the project. Isaiah’s DECA group provided funding to buy the materials for the raised beds from the local Lampbert’s lumber yard. 

Isaiah along with his mom, grandmother and other community member’s planted the garden. Isaiah used his own money to buy a lawn mower and weed eater to keep the area around the gardens looking need and orderly. He spent countless hours watering, weeding and tending the garden beds with the help of only a handful of volunteers, mainly his mom and grandmother. When he harvested the produce he coordinated with the food pantry and local businesses to distribute vegetables to those in need.
 He is planning to go to college and hopes that he can find someone to carry on his community garden project. I’m helping him to coordinate volunteers and partner with Feed My People and the Augusta Community and Senior Center to further expand the distribution of the produce. He says he would like to add more beds so that he can grow more. 

I know that he has been putting a lot of his own money into buying plants and seeds and materials for the garden. I am just so impressed by his enthusiasm in wanting to do something to help the less fortunate in his community. I know that he is a busy student and working to prepare for this continuing education so this prize would greatly assist him in his efforts to provide home grown produce for the community. 

Nomination for Sarah Redford from Kay Zych:

Sarah Redford is an SEA (Special Education Assistant) at Northstar Middle School. Everyday she comes to work armed with a smile, a cup of coffee, and a readiness to help kids. Sarah’s job involves working with kids that need extra help socially and academically. She is passionate about her job and lives to help kids.  She’s always willing to go the extra mile for North Star students. After school, she was in charge of a Homework Club. At this club kids could come work on homework and get extra help if they needed it.  

Sarah has an amazing garden at her home. It is her “Happy Place.” It is a place she can go to  when she needs to relax, be productive, or think. Her garden is a place where she can find calmness and focus. Sarah wanted to share her love of gardening and all of the things a garden can give someone with the kids at Northstar. 

Last year, Sarah was on a mission to have a garden at Northstar. She formed a committee, did the research, and got her plan approved.  Unfortunately, things came to an abrupt halt. Now that Spring is in the air Sarah is right back at it. She is supervising a Gardening Club and making plans to get the Northstar garden up and running. I asked Sarah why gardening was so important to her and here is what she said, “There are so many benefits, but my short version is, It’s my answer to the growing need for mental health support among our students. Additionally, it provides a common ground (pun intended) for students from all ethnicities and ability levels to collaborate and feel success and grow (pun intended) a sense of community. ” I feel that Sarah would be an amazing person to give a garden to.

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