by Anne Donofrio-Holter
The Arcadia and Monrovia Rotary Clubs have joined forces to build a sustainable garden at the Monrovia Boys and Girls Club. With funds donated by both clubs, along with a Rotary District 5300 Foundation Lefler grant, the project will enable children to grow fresh fruit and vegetables.
“I had heard in the news about hunger in the United States with numbers higher than many would expect, especially for children,” said Dr. Brad Miller, Arcadia Rotary past president. “Then after reading about community gardens sponsored by Rotary clubs, the idea came together.”
After failing to secure land for the garden in Arcadia, Maryann Lutz, Rotarian and mayor of Monrovia, suggested they try the Monrovia Boys and Girls Club.
“Not so much serving the whole community, but serving a specific community, underprivileged kids,” said Miller. “John Wilson, CEO of Monrovia Boys and Girls Club, had initiated a community garden in a prior non-profit he was involved with. We connected and it was a natural fit.”
According to Arcadia Rotary President Eric Barter, in just half a day, “with a little sweat and muscle from 25 Rotarians,” phase one of the project was completed which consisted of the construction of three planter boxes.
“The Monrovia Rotary Club enjoyed working side by side with the Arcadia Rotary Club on this project. It was a day filled with laughter, hard work and fellowship,” said Monrovia Rotary Club President Julie Roybal. “We are all excited to see our work manifest to the betterment of the Boys and Girls Club and it will be wonderful to see the fruits of the kids’ harvest.”
“I am pleased to see several organizations working together for the good of youth,” said Barter. “The City of Monrovia for allowing us to use the land and supporting the project, the Arcadia and Monrovia Rotary clubs working together, the Arcadia arboretum for their guidance on the raised bed design and Rotary District 5300 for helping us with the funding.”
Phase two of the project is an irrigation system and phase three, a covering for the planter boxes.
“Then the kids can start planting,” said Barter. “As Rotarians, these are the best projects – hands on. Together we can make a difference is the mantra for my year as president and this project is another fine example.”
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