Tuesday, June 15, 2010

MG's Educate Inmates on Gardening

There's a great write up in today's Public Opinion Newspaper highlighting Master Gardener efforts to help inmates learn how to plant.  Here are some excerpts:
"I'm impressed with the enthusiasm of these women," said Franklin County Master Gardener Barbara Betteker, one of two gardeners who gave of their time to teach the inmates gardening and landscaping skills this week at the jail.

Betteker was joined by Master Gardener Tracy Burkholder, Tracy's son Cole Ott and his friend, Eli Miller, all of whom volunteered to help teach the inmates the skills that will earn them a landscaping certificate. The idea is that after their time is served, the certificate could help them get a job.

Inmate Crystal Menter said she knew nothing about gardening, but was having a lot of fun learning.

"I even had to learn how to dig the hole (for the plant)," she said. "I learned that roses roots down go straight down but spread out, so you have to give them room to grow."

She called the experience "awesome."

Inmate Natasha McCammon said she considered it a privilege to participate in the program.
Go read the whole thing.  I'm particularly impressed with the whole collaborative effort with businesses and other volunteer organizations.  And this is the kicker:
"There were no tax dollars spent for this," Fink said. "It is totally the effort of volunteers, local businesses and jail employees."
In these tough economic times, with budgets being squeezed everywhere, we can be very proud of our organization's contribution.  Congratulations, folks!

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