Giving, Learning and Acceptance Gardens
In 2013 we started “The Giving Garden” at the Massad Family YMCA with a grant from The CarMax Foundation. The garden was 30 ft. x 30 ft., wheelchair accessible, with raised beds and a garden shed. In 2014 we began a garden expansion to increase the size to 60 ft. x 60 ft., added additional raised beds, fencing and a small greenhouse, thanks to money donations from NextCare, discounts from Lowe’s, and donated time from Eagle Scout Troop 1410. In 2015 we will be completing our expansion project by adding more raised beds and trees as well as adding a “Sensory Garden” area inside “The Giving Garden”. It will be in raised beds with: bright colored items and interesting shaped plith a scent and plants to taste. Also in 2015, a second garden was added to our Ron Rosner Family YMCA and is named “The Learning Garden”. In 2016 Caroline Family YMCA added the “Acceptance Garden”.
The Giving Garden has been a big success. Our garden has promoted healthy eating and access to nutritious, organic foods while learning gardening skills and the stages of growing produce from seed to feed and back again in our youth and special needs programs. The financial assistance families in our youth programs are able to eat healthy produce from our garden. We also have been learning about giving by donating healthy produce to The Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, Hazel Hill and Stafford Junction throughout the growing season. On Fridays, during the growing season from 10-1, we offer a “Free Produce” table in the main lobby of the Massad Family YMCA.