A seldomly used slab of concrete at a Rancho Cordova Senior Center was transformed into a beautiful community garden during a one-day community service project.
On April 28, student leaders from E. L. Hickey Jr./Sr. High School, a community school operated by the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), AmeriCorps, and the Home Depot Crew worked together to install a community garden at the Cordova Senior Activities Center, located at 3480 Routier Road.
"We had this old shuffleboard court that no one was using any more. So, we decided why not do something with this space and turn it into something we all can enjoy?" said Jenn Taylor, Recreation Supervisor for the Cordova Recreation and Park District.
The students from Hickey Jr./Sr. High School, participants in SCOE's LINKS program, worked with AmeriCorps volunteers, as well as skilled craftsmen from the Home Depot Crew, and the "Green Thumb" garden volunteers from the Cordova Senior Activities Center for the one-day community garden installation.
"This is a great opportunity for our students to perform community service and help people in our area," said LINKS Teacher Barbara Modlin. "They get so much out of doing this type of gratifying work."
"This collaborative project demonstrates what can be accomplished when multiple agencies come together to reach a common goal," said Deputy Superintendent Marty Cavanaugh.
Cordova Recreation & Park District was selected for a Home Depot Foundation community grant to install accessible garden beds, growing fresh produce for seniors. The garden, with its fourteen raised planters, is wheelchair accessible. In addition to the donated wood and volunteer labor, local companies also contributed to the project. Kellogg Supply, Inc. donated nine square yards of soil for the garden.
"We are a small, family-owned company so we donate as much as we can when we can," said Gary Burnett, area manager for Kellogg Supply, Inc. "We think this garden is a great project for our community."
LINKS is a SCOE career technical education program aimed at helping high-risk students succeed. Services are tailored to individual students based on their specific needs instead of through traditional, scripted education. The LINKS model focuses on setting bold goals and creating student success plans relevant to career aspirations, enhancing career education, providing job opportunities, building strong partnerships with education agencies and the business community, and connecting students to adult mentors who provide supportive guidance.