The Amborella House, which opened its doors to victims of sex trafficking in October, underwent a landscaping makeover with support from the Chisago County Master Gardeners. With the help of two others, Master Gardener Leslie Scharafanow designed and landscaped about 4,550 square feet of the property, adding two perennial gardens, a mulched seating area, firepit and raised garden beds, with the goal of helping residents learn new gardening skills. Amborella House also will use these newly renovated areas as safe, inviting spaces for group and individual counseling sessions.
Local garden centers donated landscape fabric, mulch, shrubs, soil, brick pavers, pea rock and garden edging materials for the project. Perennial plants were donated by individuals, including some of the gardeners themselves. The Chisago County Master Gardeners will also a financial donation to house in honor of the late Bob Walz, a Chisago County master gardener and master naturalist, who was passionate about social justice.
“The project went well, and we have been thanked numerous times by the director of the Amborella House,” says Leslie. “It is meant to be a space where the residents feel safe and can heal and reclaim their lives.”
Both Leslie and the staff at Amborella are hopeful that the new spaces will provide a peaceful environment for residents as they embark on their journey toward personal restoration.