Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and more are thriving in the community garden atNeil S. Hirsch Boys & Girls Club of Wellington thanks to its partnership with the Wellington Garden Club.Created by the Young Professionals of Wellington, the garden has been expanded and managed since December by members of the Wellington Garden Club.
Garden Chairman and lead organizer, John Siena, spent his career as an executive working with teams around the world. He has found the Wellington Garden Club to be “among the top ten most productive teams I have ever worked with, and a large number of them are teachers,” which makes the Wellington-based Boys & Girls Club a perfect fit. This summer, members of the club spent a great deal of time caring for the garden, attending indoor programs with the Garden Club, and planting their own seeds inside the fingers of disposable gloves to create a portable garden.
“We are so grateful for the support and guidance of the Wellington Garden Club,” shared Jaene Miranda, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County. “Their efforts have more than exceeded our expectations and have proven to be a very educational and inspiring opportunity for our members. And, because of the food insecurity issues across our county, these lessons can be taken with the members and potentially used in their homes in the future.”
Siena moved to Wellington nine years ago to be closer to his children and for him and his wife Kathleen Siena, the garden is a family affair. Kathleen spent her summer facilitating the Wellington Garden Club’s summertime programming, while also being instrumental in helping the community garden flourish.
A recent highlight of the garden’s life was the community harvest. “It was a huge event attended not only by the Council for the Village of Wellington, but also by the Vice Mayor of Royal Palm Beach. The Vice Mayor was interested in seeing our success as they are considering their own community garden,” continued Siena.
Over the course of the year, the garden has bloomed with a number of edible plants including cabbage, lettuce, sweet potatoes, beans, okra, eggplants, peanuts, marigolds and herbs that Boys & Girls Club and community members are able to take home. Even more, each different vegetable offers another opportunity for the Garden Club to educate the children and teens about the importance of healthy eating.
"The most important thing we are growing in this garden is the children,” says Siena. “We are raising them to be good stewards of the Earth."
For more information on the Wellington Boys & Girls Club, contact (561) 790-0343.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF PALM BEACH COUNTY:
Founded in 1971, Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit youth development organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, health, leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment. Thirteen Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Palm Beach County serve more than 8,000 children ages 6 - 18. In addition to a safe, fun and constructive alternative to being home alone, the Clubs offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills, self-esteem and values during critical periods of growth. For more information, please visit www.bgcpbc.org or call 561-683-3287. The Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club is located at 1080 Wellington Trace in Wellington. For more information, contact (561) 790-0343.