Youth Build Community Garden at Local Church

Carmichael, CA  |  By Shaunna Boyd
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Over the course of four days, the youth group built a fence, raised beds, walking paths, and a garden shed. Photo by Shaunna Boyd.
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The youth group from Carmichael Presbyterian Church recently completed their first local mission project: a community garden in the field behind the church. Photo provided by Carmichael Presbyterian Church.

Garden Will be Open to Local Community Members in Need of Food Assitance

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Over spring break, the high school youth group from Carmichael Presbyterian Church (5645 Marconi Ave.) completed their mission project for the year by building a community garden in the field behind the church. During the four-day project, they built a fence, raised beds, walking paths, and a garden shed. Then they installed an irrigation system and prepped the beds for planting.

Lisa Torgerson, director of children and youth at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, said the goal is to supply vegetables to the church Food Closet that serves local community members in need of food assistance.

Torgerson said planting should begin soon, and they plan to start with tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash in two of the garden beds. The remaining beds will be open for planting by members of the church and local community. Members of the youth group, Sunday school classes, and the church will tend to the garden.

Sarah Tomlinson, a member of the youth group and a senior at El Camino High School, said that the group usually travels to other locations for their missions. For example, last year they built a school in Honduras for their mission project. This year is the first time they’ve completed a mission project in their home town.  “This project is different, because we’ll get to see the impact it will have on our community over time,” said Tomlinson.

Many of the kids in the youth group have been involved for years and have formed strong friendships. Tomlinson said, “This is a really tight group of kids here.”

John Wallace, a youth advisor for the youth group since 1992, said, “It’s important for young people to give back to their community, so community service is a big focus of our group.”

Since it is a community garden, it is open to the public, and Tomlinson explained that the community garden will provide an excellent opportunity for people in the community to learn about gardening. Tomlinson invited community members to “come check it out. The fence is to keep out critters, not people.”