Small Army Speeds WSMC Garden’s Big Projects

Small Army Speeds WSMC Garden’s Big Projects

Sometimes it just seems we have too many tasks for too few hands. What would we do with an infusion of willing labor?

We found out on Thursday, Nov. 5. Citizens Committee, the philanthropy whose grant enabled us to upgrade the Warren St. entrance, organized a corporate volunteer day. Four people who normally pursue financial affairs for Santander Bank showed up to paint, assemble, lug, collaborate, climb, descend, shovel, plant, shovel and shovel.

Jessica Iovene, Anthony Rogriguez, Thania Chanlatte and Shari Lofton, with the able hand of Citizen Committee’s Emily Hirsch,  poured themselves into our wishlist.

Anthony clambered on top of the shed and gave it a first coat of paint. Our incredible luck? He was a professional house painter in a previous incarnation!

Jessica, Thania and Shari puzzled out the shelving, toting hunks of metal onto the flat surface of the sidewalk and snapping everything together seamlessly. Then they reconfigured it all without complaint when it turned out Andrea, the garden administrator,  had part of the plan wrong. After that, they headed into the shed, wielding an electric screwdriver to mount tracks for hanging tools.

The team proved resilient, undaunted when rain that was not in the forecast began dribbling from above. Anthony and Melanie, the garden treasurer, covered the shed roof with plastic and everyone moved on to new tasks. Jessica and Anthony excavated an area around a pipe that brings in water to the north side of the garden, enabling plumbers to assess the source of a leak that forced us to keep the water turned off on that side through the summer. (We’re still working on this one.)

Shari, Thania and Jessica moved soil and planted a dogwood and several other native plants on our St. Marks side, and Anthony, joined by Jessica, dug out the foundation of a curving pathway that will allow us to wander among our new plantings without tromping on them.

The Santander teams did a huge amount of work, giving us a much-appreciated leg up for our last Community Garden Day of the season. Garden members picked up the baton on the next Saturday, putting a full second coat of paint on the roof of the shed and a full first coat on the sides, following through on the pathway, and virtually completing all the planting.

We thank our Santander friends for all they’ve given us. And we hope they will come back and see how they’ve helped us thrive.

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