We are so lucky here at Groundwork to not only be surrounded with such great people in a special community, but to have the help of truly wonderful volunteers. Thanks to them, we’re able to make the great strides that we do! Today we celebrated our fantastic volunteers at the first Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Bravo to Luke, Valarie, Jeanne and Andrew! In case you haven’t yet met, here’s a little bit that makes each of them so special.
Without a complaint, Jeanne has cheerfully collected seeds, tackled pests, mixed soil, mended the propagation hut, and even gone out to Lakeside to purchase a truckload of soil. One day she helped moved 3 yards of soil across the Earthlab, bucket by bucket! Among her many talents, she is now adding teaching to her repertoire. She has just joined the DEEP Summer Literacy Program as our newest intern. Rather than consider her a volunteer, we see her as a team member, working with us to advance our projects.
Valarie sought us out and we are so lucky! She is open-minded and flexible about the project overall. She is so generous with her time, and is using the experience to prepare to cultivate her own fields. She even brings her own plants from home for us to add to the garden! She has an amazing gift with trees and we are happy to call her our EarthLab Arborist.
Much of the infrastructure, from the solar panels to the aquaponics system, greenhouse, fencing, and paint are all the work of Luke. With his research experience as an SDSU professor, he continues adding to his work with rain catchment and graywater systems planned for next year. His wild spirit is a pleasure to be around.
Andrew’s creative juices have taken Earthlab activities from Balboa Park to the international border. Representing the San Diego Art Institute, he has turned blanks walls at the EarthLab into a vibrant mural while involving students in the process. He keeps dreaming of more projects like a totem pole, mosaic wall, and fence murals. His partnership has brought our students incredible opportunities for creativity and growth.