Volunteers needed for tree planting June 30 at Hope House in Buffalo

Hope House landscaping project in Buffalo
Lines are marked for the nature path at Hope House, a project of Imagine Community Gardens. Volunteers are needed to help with planting and other tasks on June 30. Photo courtesy Imagine Community Gardens

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Imagine Community Gardens is looking for volunteers to help plant trees, shrubs and perennials at the “Peace Garden” at Hope House, a homeless shelter for woman and children, 585 Genesee St., Buffalo (one block from the Jefferson Street exit of the Kensington Expressway/Route 33).

What is now a lawn area is being turned into a butterfly garden with nature paths and a seating area. On the work day, volunteers will also lay wood chips on the path and freshen up the children’s playground area with playground-quality mulch. The area already has a community garden.

The work will be done from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. You can just show up that day and help for as long as you can.

Please park on Genesee Street. Take work gloves if you have them.

Volunteers from local landscaping companies will lead the project and provide equipment such as wheelbarrows and shovels as well as the plants.

For more information, contact Rich Tedeschi, vice president and executive director of Imagine Community Gardens, at rich@jacrist.com or 472-4363.

Imagine Community Gardens targets neglected areas and builds community gardens, Tedeschi said. He and Bob Zima, president, founded the non-profit organization three years ago and have already created two community gardens in Lockport.

Neighborhood residents are invited to garden for free and are given plants. A Master Gardener from Cornell Cooperative Extension guides them. A drip irrigation system was installed to meet the watering needs.

The idea is to help residents learn about gardening and develop friendships with other gardeners, he said. And of course, the gardeners can harvest fresh food.

Part of the garden is set aside to supply soup kitchens and food pantries, and the gardeners choose which ones to donate to. In addition, through what the organizers call “First Fruits,” the gardeners are asked to take 10 percent of what they grow and share it with other residents in the neighborhood.

Without the garden, “Unfortunately, these people don’t have a lot to give,” Tedeschi said, but with the garden, “now they have extra. They can give back to the community, and that’s empowering for them.”

If you’d like someone from Imagine Community Gardens to speak to your group, contact Tedeschi at rich@jacrist.com or 472-4363.

You can also donate online or help in other ways.

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