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Restoration Outreach Programs International Denver Community Gardens

Community gardens are special in countless ways. The Restoration Outreach Programs’ new community garden is special in a unique way: in which their new gardens will host culture and cuisine from all over the world and serve those in need.

Restoration Outreach Programs (ROP) provides for the community living around East Colfax, in the area of east Denver and west Aurora. Christian faith-based, they offer the community invaluable services including a food bank, English classes, work readiness, and more. The community ROP serves includes those of low-income, underserved, and immigrant populations. Their services are far-reaching, including the English classes alone working with over 100 languages of immigrants from all over the world.

To further provide for the Restoration Outreach Programs food bank, the new community gardens will serve as an in-home resource to supplement the food they offer. With the global cuisine that community members bring to the table, the new gardens will allow seeds from all over the world to be planted, growing richness in culture and diversity to the Denver area.

The Colorado Garden Foundation both provided a grant for the project for Restoration Outreach Programs and referred Earth Love Gardens to ROP to help implement the project. Aaron Michael, of Earth Love Gardens, loved the mission of ROP and the mission of the community gardens and was shown the space that was to renovate with a community garden. This space, previously a prayer garden, had a wonderful purpose but was being underutilized.

With the new vision for the space, many more people would be able to utilize and connect with it. This garden space would provide countless benefits, including for those working in the garden as they touch the soil and connect with the plants they know best from the countries they originate from, and for those whom the fresh, nutritious, delicious produce would serve.

To maximize the usability of the space, which measures just about 40 by 22 feet, Aaron Michael designed a garden area of seven raised garden beds. These garden beds range in size of up to those that are 10 feet long by four feet wide. To further maximize the usability of the garden beds, considering the Colorado climate and how plants can grow for a little less than half the year because of the spring and fall frosts, four Earth Love Gardens’ hoop houses were designed to be installed on four of the raised garden beds. These hoop houses are made of steel, feature very thick 12 mil greenhouse fabric, and even include stainless steel vents! Even with all these raised garden beds, there still was room to include a new in-ground pollinator garden as well.

Lead by the Project Management of Earth Love Gardens, dozens of volunteers at two separate installation events selflessly and tirelessly implemented the new gardens. During the first event in April, volunteers Castle Rock Bible Church successfully built all seven raised garden beds. During the second event in June, volunteers from Greenwood Community Church built the four hoop houses and added the drip irrigation system to the entire area, leading to each of the garden beds. People of all ages, from young children to seniors, connected with the mission of the project and gave it their all; their hard, inspired work is truly reflected in the finished product.

We look forward to sharing photos and updates of the garden with you in the near future when plants are growing in it, and as it acts as the inspiring powerhouse that it is in providing a place of connection, community, culture, and true wealth in countless ways and for the people it impacts.

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