It is Springtime in NW Ohio…and at 406 W. Delaware Av., downtown Toledo!  And, that means that there are wonderful opportunities for you do do something great for one of Toledo’s finest non-profit organizations: Grace Community Center.
You’re getting this message because the last several years you have at some time volunteered your service to spruce up or develop Grace’s property on Delaware Ave..and done it enthusiastically.
Last year we scheduled property and maintenance action on every week of the month of April.  This year we’re pushing hard to get most of the work done in two 5 hour blocks: Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, April 30.  8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..
That it is even imaginable that we could do everything that needs doing in those two blocks of time is the consequence of the fact that our newly minted Fast Track Farmers program participants (11 in all) will do the majority of the garden PLANTING work.  Can’t take the space or time to tell you all about them, but, under the guidance of Preston Ingram, our Garden Manager and the lady from Central State University Extension who is the program’s lead farming enterprise educator,  they have become a real asset to us.
Here are the main work projects that need doing:
1. Repair the raised bed complex we have in the garden space.  A number of the beds need repairs, and in some cases their “base” structure (gravel and weed barrier) needs re-constitution.  Also, we want to fit out at least a couple of the garden rows with plastic cover sheets on rollers–this to allow rapid covering of the beds in case of frost problems.
2. Topping off the beds with organic material; laying down more wood chips in the spaces between rows; and leveling up and seeding uneven ground surfaces.  The fill in all the beds settles roughly 6 inches each year, and what’s been lost there needs to be replaced.  The wood chips tend to decompose and get kicked around, and need replacing also. This is a wheel barrow job…and nobody does it like the Bode Family from Sylvania UCC.  Hoping you guys can come and work with us on this.  But it is something others could do as well.  For mixing material, bulk distribution of wood chips and ground leveling, you will have Scott Luck’s assistance from the seat of the tractor/front end loader.
3. Building a catchment to receive the waste water from the washing station.
This will involve digging a shallow pit South of the washing station and filling it with gravel; then, running pipe from the wash tubs in the station through the concrete block wall that partly surrounds them out and down into the catchment.  Note: the front end loader will be a big help with this project.
4. Weeding, grooming, edging of the garden bed around the linden tree near the northwest corner of the main building (where the mounted library box is).   And, placement and anchoring of a bench on the brick patio structure that is part of that same little garden complex.
5. General yard and garden care: weeding and mulching around the south and west sides of the main Center building…and along the currant and gooseberry rows that form the south boundary of the garden.  Grass whipping and grooming along the north edge of the property.  This is work that anyone can do: young, old, skilled, unskilled.  And, there is a lot of it to do.
Please let us know what your availability for any or all of this work schedule is: and what you would like to do…and I will be able to make up a detailed work plan.
A copy of our report of Mission Accomplishments for last year is attached, along with a recent aerial photo of the property we’ll all be working on…and a collage of recent Grace people photos…just to warm your heart.
Bryce Harbaugh
Board Chair
Grace Community Center
419-290-2690 (cell)
P.S. There will be refreshments for the work teams, and we invite people to bring a picnic lunch to eat with your fellow workers at or near the lunch hour on either Saturday.