Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
The Blue Sky Fund organization exists to get inner-city kids out into the great outdoors for various types of experiential education. The organization’s core values include “Discovery through learning about nature, spirit, and self, Unity through working together with our team, neighbors, and diverse communities, Respect by how we treat ourselves, others, and the environment, Stewardship by caring for our environment, our community, our volunteers, and our financial resources.”
Members of the Blue Sky Fund volunteered in the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden earlier this month, and really put those core values on display. To be candid, having teens work in the CKG can be a little nerve-racking at times. Attention spans sometimes can be very brief, which affects productivity. These young people asked questions, wanted to learn and worked hard — very hard — at heavy weeding, mulching and planting. The group was a joy to be around, and their energy was infectious.
“The Blue Sky Fund Outdoor Leadership Institute crew loved working in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Community Kitchen Garden. We got to work in the fresh air and the sunshine, for the betterment of our community, and we maybe even learned a thing or two about integrated pest management and how deep we should plant our okra. You can’t ask much more from a Saturday morning!” said Steven Cottam, Blue Sky Fund Adventure Programs Manager.