Community Gardening-Building Social Capital by Volunteering in Our Community

The Irving Triangle. Photo courtesy of Metro Blooms

Many people can agree that it’s nice to take advantage of the summer in Minnesota by working outside. This summer, we started beautifying our community through landscaping and gardening projects. There were several teams of volunteers from CIP that worked on various gardening projects during the week. The teams collaborated with a local nonprofit organization, Metro Blooms, which has worked with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in 14 neighborhoods to install more than 400 rain gardens! In case you didn’t know, rain gardens are specifically designed to reduce pollution by reducing the amount of storm water run off that contains pollutants from going into our lakes, rivers and wetlands.

 

In the area called the Irving Triangle in North Minneapolis and in various street gardens in South Minneapolis, volunteers distributed mulch, planted, picked up garbage and pulled weeds. Aida Abebe, AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator, supervised the community teams and taught the participants about many aspects of gardening. The teams were happy to help with enhancing the attractiveness of their communities and maintaining these rain gardens! Volunteers not only had fun learning about gardening alongside their community members, but also had the opportunity to learn transferable skills that may be useful for some with obtaining and maintaining other jobs in their communities!

CIP is committed to providing services in our community rather than at segregated facilities, whether that be through employment, recreation, volunteer or all of the above. Our Employment and Community Supports division uses many community volunteer opportunities to facilitate connections between the people we support and the members of their communities, building social capital that can lead to successful employment opportunities in the future! And we certainly enjoy building the network of nonprofits with which we partner and volunteer!

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