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Northeast Times | November 30, 2022

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The Grapevine Garden Club (GGC) was awarded a grant from The AMES Companies Inc., the largest U.S.A. manufacturer of gardening tools. The grant was applied for through the National Garden Clubs, Inc. who has formed a partnership with AMES. This generous infusion of an assortment of 66 gardening tools allowed the club to provide gardening assistance to three communities based civic garden projects. On Wednesday, November 5, 2014, GGC’s Karen Rice and Pam Braak made a presentation of tools to Caryn Hutchinson representing the Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange (GRACE) Community Garden, Harold Annis, the Master Gardener project leader at the Heritage Elementary School Garden, and Betsy Marsh and Mikaela Rood, the environmental committee chairs at the Grapevine Elementary School Nature Center.

The generous donation of tools from The Ames Companies, Inc. included trowels, shovels, pruning saws, garden hoses, gardening carts and even some colorful kid sized shovels and hoes. The AMES tool grant allowed GGC to add this wonderful bonus of tools to GGC’s annual cash grant and plant material support of the named civic projects.

GRACE community garden grows fresh produce for the GRACE Food Pantry, which provides food for those in need from our community. The garden is worked continually, year round. These tools will aid with planting, harvesting and maintaining the garden. The GRACE community garden relies solely on donations for tools, seeds, plants, dirt, manure, and all items to maintain a healthy garden.

The Heritage Elementary School Garden is an outdoor learning environment where students experience gardening first hand. The grade school has a garden club which provides a hands-on teaching program and leads the students in a multitude of garden activities such as planting plants and seeds, rain water harvesting, propagation of plants, and learning about soil health, nutrition, etc. The garden is maintained by volunteers and the kids actively work in the garden during their “garden club” sessions. These tools will help maintain this ongoing project and will be used by the students and the volunteers.

The Grapevine Elementary School World of Wonder (WOW) Nature Center is an interactive learning garden where students can experience nature first hand. The center has raised vegetable beds and a pumpkin patch and will soon include a monarch butterfly garden, an herb and sensory garden, compost bins, a soil experiment station and more. The teachers help to care for the center and are receiving training on how to integrate the center into all areas of the curriculum. Over 500 students are able to use the center to learn about the natural world through hands-on study, experimentation, and gardening. These tools will aid the teachers, volunteers and kids to work in this garden.