Hot, muy caliente, scorching, sizzling….a handful of words to describe to the state of temperature here in Baltimore and across in Maryland. Yuck..I have been trying to be around A/C as much as possible but made one exception yesterday morning. Despite the major heat and humidity I enjoyed participating in a service project organized by one of the VMCs in my region, Jenny, who works at the Southeast Community Development Corporation. The team of volunteers and I worked together with the help of Baltimore Contained to plant container gardens on the terrace of the new healthy living center in Highlandtown, one of several health care facilities run by Baltimore Medical System.
There were several aspects of this volunteer opportunity that I really appreciated. This experience absolutely defined the meaning of valuable partnerships. It’s great that Jenny was able to bring together the greening needs of a new health facility (which is also a green building) with the interest and resources of a local greening organization. This package was complete with the assistance of enthusiastic volunteers, a group composed of Volunteer Maryland members, a volunteer from BVU, and local community members looking to gain skills and participate in projects.
With such a diverse group and different levels of experiences with gardening, how did this all work out? Well, due to clear instructions (including a verbal lesson and printed out charts and labels) we were able to move fast (even in the heat) in properly setting up the containers and planting native, vegetable, and ornamental plants. There was always someone to answer questions and help us learn more about the process. There was a genuine level of support, which I think really added to the quality of this volunteer experience.
Water, tents, air conditioning indoor space, and a delicious lunch were all provided for our group. I don’t think this project would have moved as successfully without these additions, so a big kudos to Jenny and her team for providing not only an organized project but one that was well supported under uncontrollable circumstances (heat!). 🙂