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2016 REME Award Winner: Growing Community Through Gardening

May 16, 2017 | IREM Staff

“Growing Community Through Gardening” is a 2016 REME Award-winning health and wellness initiative started by Astar/Cardinal Capital Management (West Allis, WI). Initially envisioned as an opportunity for residents to participate in growing and sharing garden vegetables with each other, this program has evolved into much more. By leveraging corporate donations and volunteer manpower, residents are able to plan, tend, harvest, cook, compost and socialize in an effort to build healthier lives, while enjoying fresh produce grown in their own backyards. The program was intended as an amenity to allow residents to interact in a new activity, but staff highly underestimated the enthusiasm by which the program would be received!

Residents initiated and participated in a number of activities that stemmed from the community gardening program, including:

  • Keeping journals showing watering, weeding and fertilizing schedules.
  • Sharing meals together before and after each gardening session.
  • Creating a garden-grown cookbook, which when shared with corporate donors led to increased corporate donations.
  • Starting composting and birdwatching activities.
  • Holding year-end pot luck gatherings that use ingredients from the garden.
  • Attending cooking classes in community kitchens, again using garden produce.
  • Engaging with @gardeningwhpc on Twitter to stay current with gardening initiatives.

Check out the full story in the March/April edition of JPM.

Does your company have a great social responsibility program or initiative? Get the recognition you deserve and submit for a 2017 REME Award by June 1!

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