With Minnesota’s annual Give to the Max Day just around the corner, we’ve been thinking about the visionary gardeners who support MSHS now, and those who have supported the work of the society for the past 150 years. It’s thanks to their understanding of the importance of gardening in our communities that has made the society what it is today—an essential resource for northern gardeners!
We do that by providing information through Northern Gardener magazine, classes and other events the hort society sponsors. Northern Gardener is the only gardening magazine written and produced locally and edited exclusively for our climate. Only a portion of the magazine is funded by member and subscriber dues and advertising revenue. Donations to MSHS allow us to continue to provide this valuable resource.
MSHS also served the community through its Minnesota Green program, which coordinates donations of seeds, plants and gardening tools to community garden spaces dedicated to growing food, beautification projects in public spaces, and gardens that improve the lives of residents in senior living facilities and low-income housing developments. Minnesota Green builds community among the hundreds of participating volunteer gardeners as well as thousands who benefit from their efforts. Our goal in 2017 is to significantly expand Minnesota Green’s reach beyond the metro area and improve access to these valuable donated resources.
We also help new and low-income gardeners through the Garden-in-a-Box program. In 2016, 100 new Garden-in- a-Box kits were distributed to 21 non-profit partners to bring edible gardens to low-income and at-risk kids and their families. The program also continued supporting 24 partners from the 2014 and 2015 programs by donating plants and soil for their 189 existing garden boxes. In all, 289 garden kits were planted at a total of 64 sites including daycare centers, schools, parks, rehab centers, assisted living facilities, low-income housing, churches, hospitals, and more. MSHS will expand the Garden-in- a-Box program in 2017 by donating an additional 100 new garden box kits.