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News of the Township
Pantry Plants Garden Project Begun

For Immediate Release
date: June 12, 2011
Contact: Mari Barnes, Supervisor, 847-432-3240, super@morainetownship.org

See photos

Township Pantry Plants Garden Project Off to a Great Start

The far south end of Woodridge Park in Highland Park was the scene of lively interaction as resident volunteers young and young-at-heart worked together to till, plant and water a new crop of seasonal produce to supplement Moraine Township's Food Pantry. The Township's Pantry Plants Garden Project was launched this year on Saturday, June 4. Located on Park District of Highland Park property at the south end of Barberry Road (near Clavey), the garden has become a community tradition since 2006, where locals interested in working together to provide fresh produce for the Township's Food Pantry have a great time planting, cultivating and harvesting a variety of vegetables.

"We could not do any of this without the generosity of donor groups like Anton's Fruit Market, whose young plants start us off each year; the Park District, whose workers prepare the soil for planting; and Sam Piro's gang of volunteers from U CANN2 and Steve Leverick's NSSED students, who have been pitching in season after season," observed Township Supervisor Mari Barnes.

Each year, the garden has grown larger and its style has been reshaped to accommodate multiple missions: recipients have been invited to help grow the plants, and work alongside of other volunteers or those who can't garden anymore but who possess a wealth of gardening know-how. Fresh produce feeds families with healthful seasonal supplements. Children participating in the cycle learn where their food comes from, and all benefit from enhanced nutrition.

This year, a portion of the garden was divided among those who want to be responsible for their own produce from start to finish. Thanks to a cooperative venture with the Lake County Health Department's North Shore Health Center in Highland Park, over thirty residents were on hand on June 4 to work their own plots. Encouraged by the Center's Diabetes Prevention and Treatment Program Outreach Worker Olga Aguilar, whole families dug in last month and again on June 4 for the official launch. During the season, in addition, the nonprofit organization, Nurture, a new Township grantee group, plans to assist with garden volunteers and provide educational nutrition expertise.

Interested members of the public who want to support this effort are needed to maintain the watering, weeding and general care of the Township's plot throughout the season. There is a watering/weeding chart posted at the site so volunteers can know what tasks must be performed.

Come one, come all, with spades, hoes, appropriate gardening clothes and a willing spirit to get "down and dirty" with Moraine Township. No need to meet any particular schedule: just go out there and pitch in. Find further information online at http://morainetownship.org or call (847) 432-3240.

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