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Our Place Community Garden aims to teach life skills through gardening

A celebration to commemorate a new neighborhood garden, the first of its kind for our community. Stemming from a vision of, local non-profit, Soulful Seeds.
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 8:02 PM PDT
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - A celebration to commemorate a new neighborhood garden, the first of its kind for our community. Stemming from a vision of, local non-profit, Soulful Seeds.

“Its nice to see things come to fruition because there have been several thousand yards of fill material brought here and grated, and just a whole lot of work in the background,” said Earstin Whitten, co-founder and president of Soulful Seeds.

The 2.6-acre garden is in place to help teach the residents of Our Place, Crossroads, and other local transitional housing facilities life skills, through gardening.

“...To not just sit around and wait for things, to get them physically active...and by getting physically active, it just has to help your overall well-being and gives you a more positive outlook on life,” said Whitten.

“They’re [Our Place and Soulful Seeds] going to help us, the community, see how you plant ‘the little seed,’ which Our Place did for me and they helped me believe in myself, and it [the little seed] bloomed because they [Our Place] watered it they cared for me they cared for my family and I’m a little flower that’s growing,” said Mariela Tuggles, current employee at Our Place, and former resident of the campus.

Tuggles is one of the hundreds of men, women, and children that will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor come harvest season.

“Its amazing I’m just so blessed, and I’m always going to be thankful for everything they’ve done for us, knowing that we have this in our community and I could bring my daughter, she loves to plant so I know she’s excited to come,” said Tuggles.

A blessing she never could have imagined, six months ago when she and her 11-year-old daughter, first came to the Our Place campus in need of help.

The Our Place Community Garden is a reality because of the generosity and collaboration of many local businesses, and support from Washoe County.

At the event, Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung announced a surprise, that he is allocating an additional $10,000 in Special District Funds, to the project - bringing the total amount of Special District Funding to $34,000, all for the garden.

“I’m beyond excited for this because it is a great program, it puts a lot of people into a position where they can learn. Learn to nurture, have responsibility again, and get them back to being productive,” said Commissioner Hartung, of Washoe County District 4.

For more information about Soulful Seeds, click here.

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