Inspiring Community Gardeners

Three giving gardeners, from left, Maureen Adelman, MSHS Life Award winner, Chuck Levine, Bruce Bereford Educator's Award winner, and Malcolm Burleigh, Bob Churilla Golden Rose Volunteer award winner.

What an inspiring Saturday I had, hearing story after story about the work of the winners of the Minnesota State Horticulture Society’s Awards. These are folks who understand the power of gardening in community—the power to build connections, to increase understanding, to teach youngsters and to create beauty and food to be shared with others.

The awards, which were presented at a luncheon at Bachman’s in Minneapolis, honor individuals, who teach, volunteer and lead, as well as groups, such as the Garden to Table program of the Eagan Resource Center, which uses its food gardens to reduce hunger and build connections; the Gay Straight Alliance of Blaine High School, which created a beautiful school garden–and a more inclusive school environment; and the Soil and Sunshine Club, which has been beautifying its far-flung communities for decades. Businesses, such as Wagner’s Greenhouse, which provides hundreds of plants for the MSHS Garden in a Box program, were also honored.

Several of the recipients spoke about how meaningful they found community gardening to be. As one said, “Gardening is just as much about growing community as it is growing food.”

Congratulations to all the winners!