Positive Sprouts with Nutrilite

Jul 01, 2010

What better place to build a garden than the Boys & Girls Club that Carl Rehnborg helped to found more than 60 years ago!

We had a beautiful – and very productive – day on Saturday. Around 40 Club members came in early to get started on the garden, along with an equal number of Amway employees and Independent Business Owners from the surrounding area.

After all my traveling, I was able to use some flier miles to bring my eight year-old daughter Hannah along so she could experience the event – and life on the road!

The space had been enticing the kids for the last couple of days with a bare picket fence and big, empty rectangle beds. Shovels, rakes, watering cans, seeds, plants, wheelbarrows and a big box with the components of a tool shed had begun to accumulate around the site, just waiting for busy hands to make them work.

I was amazed to see how quickly and happily the Club members and Amway volunteers jumped into the work. In fact, we had to slow them down because we were at risk of finishing with the project before lunch was served!

A petite woman in white pants and a fashionable scarf was shoveling mulch and staining the fence. Yet she finished the day totally clean! Others embraced the dirt, and showed signs of their labor in blackened gloves and dirty knees.

It was clear to see that this was only the beginning of something big at the Buena Park Club. They already have a strong focus on health and nutrition, championed by Bruce Hird, the Executive Director. In fact, Bruce recently lost 62 pounds after committing to be an example to the Club members, and shave some of his own bad habits that had accumulated over the years.

We were so proud to have Lisa Rehnborg give opening remarks, carrying on the tradition of her grandfather who provided funding to start the Club in 1948. She now serves as chair of the board and is among the Club’s biggest advocates and supporters.

The Club members made the garden their own. You could see their senses opening up to the plants, with a new understanding of the source of our food. They touched, smelled, tasted and then planted seeds, seedlings and full plants. There was a blend of fruits, vegetables and flowers, all divided up into thematic gardens like the Pizza Garden and the Salsa Garden.

One boy was given a water can to drench the new seedlings. He covered the gardens over and over again, embracing his role in making things grow. Another small boy found a loose flower, and “planted” it with care, then showing it off to all the grown-ups. Another stayed behind to gently place bean seeds, one at a time, in a perfect circle around a bean pole. And a girl called me and others over to show us the sign she painted that informed the world that OKRA was planted here.

We delivered curriculum booklets to the Boys & Girls Club staff that was designed by experts from the Green Education Foundation, who were also on hand, working with local Master Gardeners to ensure we had the best organic gardens and local plants. They were perhaps the best examples for the Club members, passing on an intangible asset – enthusiasm for gardening.

In the end, volunteers not only built a garden, we landscaped the area and beautified the grounds. There was a real energy and excitement. Volunteers were already asking when they could come back and what else they could do, even those that drove from long distances.

Marvin Laster from the Boys & Girls Club national office gave final remarks. He talked about growing up at a Club in Atlanta himself, where he still pays his annual dues. He told the story of a turtle that someone found on a post. He said when you see a turtle on a post, you know that he didn’t get there by himself. He said we are great individuals but we can be so much more together.

Fitting words to close a wonderful day!

Following are some pictures. You can see a bigger set on our Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35587570@N07/sets/72157624275312589/


    • avneet says:

      i want to join as a member

    • Jesse Hertstein says:

      Thanks for your interest. You can watch for our lineup of garden projects in 2011, or feel free to contact your local Boys & Girls Club to find out how you can get involved.



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