Friday, May 13, 2011

Email Update from the PHG

We sent out this email to our email list this afternoon.  We thought it was worth sharing in case you missed it:

This is our first mass email update since we participated in the Behnke Nurseries' Open House, Maryland Day, and Goats and Gardens. To the newcomers on our email list: welcome and thank you for your interest in the Public Health Garden!  We are so excited to have nearly 200 people on our email list. We are thrilled to continue growing.  Since we are approaching the end of the semester (and finals for most UMD students), we wanted to give a summary of our activities this semester, our schedule and next steps, and ask some questions of you.
First, what we would like to hear from you: 
  • Please email us if you are in the area, available, and interested in volunteering this summer. We would like to put together a sub-list of summer volunteers who are interested in helping us during garden construction, initial planting, and garden-fun this summer. 
  • If so, are you free Monday, May 23 for a lunchtime brown bag (ie bring your lunch) meeting at noon? 
    • We are hoping to get a meeting of garden members and volunteers together to discuss next steps and our approach to the summer.
    • Respond with your interest and I'll post a formal invite to the blog, social media, and calendar if we get enough positive RSVPs.
Now, a re-cap of the semester (I'm sure I'm going to forget plenty of important accomplishments so, please check out the remainder of the blog for a full update):
  • Award of the Sustainability Office's Green Fund
  • Dennis Nola's Landscape Architecture students compete for design of garden
  • Selection of winning design of garden
  • Approval by ADSB of garden design
  • IAA Greenhouse Management class start seeds for the garden in greenhouse
  • Maryland Day kick-off for garden
  • Eco-Goats clear unwanted vegetation from the site
And, most importantly, our next steps:
  • Over the next couple weeks, UMD Facilities Management will fix the sidewalk and steps at the top of the garden site so that we can begin construction.
  • We are scheduling construction of Phase One of the Public Health Garden with UMD Facilities Management, targeting the week of May 23 to break ground on the upper terrace of the garden.
  • We are going to install a utility area for the Public Health Garden with a garden shed and garden tools.
    • If you have anything you would like to donate or are getting rid of from your house this spring, let us know!
    • Note: We have a donor to stock our shed: Beltway Plaza Hardware (check them out here)
  • We hope to install the ADA accessible portion of the site (upper terrace) as well as the major retaining wall and will likely be reaching out for volunteers and support later in May.
    • Let us know if you are interested!
  • We hope to start building raised beds and planting some of our plants from the greenhouse (and seeds) during the first weeks of June.
    • Let us know if you are interested!
  • Once Phase One construction is complete, we will be hosting open volunteer days throughout the remainder of the summer and will reach out to our sub-list of summer volunteers to coordinate!
    • Note: On harvest days, you'll be able to take home food from the garden. Yum.
Please let us know if you are around and would like to be involved over the summer. Also, let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback. Stay tuned for updates on the blog, facebook and twitter!  Please pass along our contact information to anyone you think would be interested in playing in the dirt with us or otherwise be involved in the garden.
Again, thank you for your interest and support.
Ready to build, plant, and enjoy!

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