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Humanitarian Garden project sprouts at Elings Park

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - An effort to deal with food insecurity in Santa Barbara is sprouting up at Elings Park in Santa Barbara.

Volunteers are digging in at a site in coordination with the locally based non-profit, the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade and the White Buffalo Land Trust.

The Bucket Brigade Humanitarian Garden is a seven-acre plot. It is being cultivated to provide community access to fresh produce, gardening and gardening education while encouraging community engagement.
Volunteers from schools and local businesses have been working on the site in a united efforts.

 This is an all volunteer project at Elings Park, led by the Bucket Brigade to help reduce food insecurity.

"I think they are getting it.  they're learning it.  and they are feeling it  first hand , " said Santa Barbara Middle School teacher Wren Miller.

Teachers say the students are  learning building and communication skills  "Watching these eighth graders work and get together and make new friendship and having conversations while they are doing it there's nothing better to watch," said Miller.

 After a short learning curve, there were immediate results on raised garden boxes.

Ann Burgard is a contractor who is helping as a construction assistant.  As one project ws coming together she said,  "now it's been 45 minutes or so and they are building these boxes and they are doing it pretty much on their own."

As part of the seven-acre project fruit trees will be planted in one area. They will be surrounded by pollinators and that will bring in another key component,  the bees"

The project also meant, invasive plants had to come out

Student Atticus Pihlar  said,  "if these  invasive  plants are taking over from the rest of the native plants  and that kind of hurts the soil so then when you try to put the native plants back they have trouble growing."

Every few minutes there was a chance to do something else here.

Abe Powell, Bucket Brigade founder said, "they need to do lots of different things and learn things and meet people and have a good time so we keep it moving the  whole day and keep mixing it up ."

Gigi Yoshimi enjoyed her side-by-side work with other students. "You just kind of get to know people  like in a different way,  talking to them and work with them and see how they work."

They also learned, it's not easy.
Ellie Walmsley said, "I've seen people the bucket brigade before working  in the videos and I just realized how hard it actually is today"

Overall, a garden is becoming a reality and students are learning valuable skills.
Hannah Henriques said,  "and help the environment in a way that's fun.  Yeah it's pretty awesome"

Elings Park is located off Las Positas in Santa Barbara. It is 230 acres and the largest community-supported non-profit public park in America.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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