Giving back to the Community
Portland Nursery is proud to be an active participant in the gardening life of our community. We recognize the importance of plants and gardening in people’s lives -- for food, for beauty, for the sheer pleasure of being active in the outdoors and connected with the larger world – and we take pleasure in sharing this knowledge, especially with children and youth.
While Portland Nursery is supportive of many charitable activities in the Portland area, our main focus remains with the needs of the area’s children and youth, and as that relates to gardening, we’re thrilled to see an increase in gardening programs in the schools and in settings of youth-centered social service.
We hear stories, time and again, of the joys of discovery and wonder as kids grow their own fresh food and beautiful flowers for the first time; learning a variety of academic skills in Math, Science and English in gardening projects that are integrated into standard school curriculums; learning lessons in responsibility and care, communication and other social skills in sharing gardening space with others. Not to mention the healthful benefits of getting outdoors and being physically active.
Portland Nursery now annually contributes in some way to more than 400 schools and organizations in the Portland Metropolitan area. In some cases it is a one-time contribution of a gift certificate for a fundraising event; in others, providing ongoing support in the way of plants, seeds and other supplies for school landscape improvement or the establishment of an edible garden; for a number of smaller projects as well as for ongoing and larger-scale, year-round programs.
Additionally gratifying, many of these projects are making use of plants no longer sellable and which would otherwise go to waste – it is truly a win-win situation! And some of these young gardeners are learning valuable lessons in community and making a difference by “paying it forward” -- donating some of the food they’ve grown to food banks and soup kitchens, bringing their experiences in the garden full circle.
Some of our current “partnerships” include:
- Janus Youth Program - Village Gardens
- Providence Montessori School
- Garden's Noise Preschool
- Portland Community Gardens
- Franciscan Montessori Earth School
- Abernethy School
- County CROPS
- Oregon Food Bank's Learning Garden
- H.B. Lee Middle School
- Zenger Farm
- David Douglas High School
- Multnomah County Juvenile Justice Garden Program
- Emanuel Hospital Children's Garden
- Growing Gardens
- Lewis Elementary School
- Mt. Tabor Middle School
- Vernon Elementary School
- Atkinson School
We are especially proud of the young, new gardeners; happy to be able to assist them in their accomplishments and looking forward to being a part of their future discoveries.
Corina Reynolds Stearns
Community Outreach Director