PHOENIX – The Beatitudes Campus is growing - not only with new programs and welcoming new residents - we are also growing radishes, carrots, tomatoes, corn, beans, onions, squash, watermelons and several varieties of flowers in the new community garden inspired and created by Campus residents!
In March of this year the Beatitudes Campus, a continuing care retirement community in north-central phoenix, fulfilled its vision of expansion and unveiled several new buildings including the Town Plaza and the Central Park Apartments, which marked major milestones in the Campus’ more than $100 million redevelopment project.
With the expansion of the Campus we welcomed new residents who bring many skills, talents, and creative ideas to our community. In February, Central Park South resident and Club Committee Chairman Lowell Bailey collaborated with other residents and created the Beatitudes Campus Community Garden Club. The group’s mission is to develop a sustainable activity that will engage the interest of the residents…through planning, planting, harvesting, and marketing of the harvest, they hope to enrich lives and offer a meaningful experience. Today, the Community Garden Club is approaching 100 members and is thriving just like their garden!
The Club located an unused area in the northeast end of the Campus for the garden and with some donations of supplies, assistance from volunteers, and support from staff, they created a beautiful garden that is 60 feet by 15 feet. Members recently announced the beginning of the summer harvest season and vegetables planted around the end of March have begun to mature and ripen. Upon visiting the garden, one will see radishes, carrots, beans, tomatoes, and squash that are almost ready for picking. The Club encourages residents to visit and enjoy the experience of being in the garden and picking fresh vegetables and asks for a small donation at the time of picking.
“We turned an abandoned area into a productive, culinary garden with the potential to serve the Beatitudes Campus and the local community,” says Bailey. “The garden has become an attraction and destination on Campus. Residents are just fascinated with it and like to tend to it and to see what’s growing!”
The Club is proud to be creating a sustainable, community garden and knows that it’s right in-line with Mayor Phil Gordon’s quest to make Phoenix the greenest city in the nation. In his State of the City address, earlier this year, Mayor Gordon laid out his comprehensive plan that included the promotion and creation of community gardens. Future plans for the Garden Club include becoming a member of a larger garden association and possibly opening up the garden to offer a Farmer’s Market to residents, staff, and local neighbors.
On Wednesday, May 27, Club members and guests gathered for their first garden wine and cheese social to celebrate their accomplishments. Beatitudes Campus President and CEO, Peggy Mullan attended the event and shared, “This community garden is a metaphor for the type of community we are and is an example of our vision to be a place for people to live, learn, and grow throughout all the phases of life.”
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