It is summer and our plants are finally starting to grow. For months Grow Food Grow Hope has been diligently working to setup community gardens and establish opportunities for people to learn to grow. As plants begin to germinate and we see the faces of those who realize that they can grow, it makes us feel successful. However, this is a very difficult time for Grow Food Grow Hope because this is the final month for our AmeriCorps VISTA members. Over the past four years we have been lucky enough to have over 30 AmeriCorps Members serve with Grow Food Grow Hope. We are sad to see the current AmeriCorps project end, but we are enthusiastic about the students and volunteers coming on board to fulfill the roles carefully designed by the AmeriCorps VISTA members. For the past year we have been consolidating and focusing the energies of Grow Food Grow Hope on a single point, small plot-urban gardening. All of our activities from here on out will focus on this project.
Youth will continue to be engaged as we focus our energies. In late April, in conjunction with Global Youth Service Day, our AmeriCorps members worked with youth connected to several organizations to plant berry bushes around Wilmington. In addition, Girl Scout Troops have been volunteering with Grow Food Grow Hope to provide our children an engaging and colorful garden area. As part of this focus Grow Food Grow Hope will again hold a summer camp where we will engage youth in the process of growing and begin to cultivate an interest in gardening.
To assist with the implementation of our new Grow Food Grow Hope plan 12 summer associates have been granted to perform hands on work to ensure all of our programs are ready for volunteers this fall. The entire Grow Food Grow Hope plan will roll out and be available for viewing online in just a few short weeks, so I encourage you to visit our website often to view the updates and find out how you can get involved. Your involvement will be greatly appreciated and will benefit thousands of com-munity members around the South West Ohio Region.