“If you give a man a fish, you can feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you can feed him for a lifetime”. This was one of the many motivations behind the creation of the Northeast Bowling Family YMCA community garden.
El Paso, like many cities, experiences food insecurity. The YMCA community garden has provided individuals opportunities to learn conservation skills, grow fresh produce, and practice different gardening techniques. Individuals can rent one of 35 raised garden beds to groom their produce and skills to create sustainable and healthy food options for themselves and their families.
In support of the project and its positive impact for the community, the Sunrise Rotary Club extended its hand. Through fundraising, outreach, donations, grants and countless volunteer hours, the Sunrise Rotary Club, in collaboration with District Rotary, Northeast Rotary Club, the Laura Borsch (Master Garden) and the El Dedon Verde Garden Club, were able to install a 24 x 26 ft Garden High Tunnel. This greenhouse structure allows growers to increase production of certain crops and grow crops that could not otherwise be grown in this area. The installation of the high tunnel will allow individuals to grow seasonal crops and plant seeds which at times are more cost effective.
Judy Wendt, Sunrise Rotary Club member, said this project was no small task and was truly a team effort. “Each group stepped in and played a role in the success of this project,” said Wendt.
She hopes the garden will continue to assist those who are experiencing hunger and will help break the cycle of food insecurity in the community.
“The garden is designed to empower families who experience food insecurity and teach them how to grow their own fruits and vegetables and help them out of their current situation,” said Wendt, “Learning to grow your own food is a way to fight hunger.”
The Sunrise Rotary Club plans to move forward with goals of incorporating technology to manage seed trays, a solar misting system, and an interior buildout to include solar fans. To see how you can support the YMCA community garden visit, YMCA of El Paso - Home (elpasoymca.org).
To support the Sunrise Rotary Club and their community service programs, you can make a donation to Sunrise Rotary Fund | Paso Del Norte Community Foundation (pdnfoundation.org).