MV Community Center Garden

The Mountain View Community Center Community Garden (MVCC)

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Mary, NACA interns Davin, Jynx, Justina, and Hailey and Americorps VISTA Teresa demonstrate and teach Mountain View Community Center after school program how to plant seeds. 

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Changes of Seasons

May 2014
Windy May blew spring away
Kids have gone from school to play
The garden gains a native stock
Meet our partners, take a walk 
The Mountain View Community Center Garden in Albuquerque has weathered it’s first season. Seeds that we planted in paper cups in March are now in the beds, thanks to the help of our 5 high school interns (Davin, Jynx, Justina, Hailey and Cheyenne), Teresa, our AmeriCorp Vista, and the Community Center staff, especially Fred and Mario. We’ve also learned what those who came before us knew about this climate, that the courtyard protects vulnerable plants, but can only nurture a few. 
The after-school program ended on May 22nd with planting of vegetables in the outdoor garden, generously donated by the Albuquerque Academy Desert Oasis Garden Program, and we are very excited to announce them as our new gardening program partner! 
We received a stock of native pollinator plants from the Plant Materials Center in Los Lunas, a Natural Resource Conservation Service facility that does wonderful research on propagation and preservation of native plants, studies the relationship between pollinator species (bees, bats, birds, butterflies and more) and the plants that best support them, and provides plants to restore native habitats on public lands. This is truly an institution to treasure.  
As summer moves in, we can watch and see how the native plants fare compared to our other vegetables and flowers. Any guesses? Of course, it all depends on how well they are taken care of. We will have a Youth Conservation Corp team of 7 high school students, and the summer program at Mountain View Community Center expects about 200 lively gardeners to participate, starting June 9th. (Ok, maybe not every one of the kids will become gardeners, but we can try.) We’ll have an experienced teacher as YCC team leader, and some fun projects to tie gardening to learning about the network of life that is our home, and to the new Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in our community. 
Would you care to join us? The supportive staff has very kindly welcomed and assisted us, but with 200 children, and a handful of us, we would welcome anyone who would like to contribute any time helping with the groups, tidying up around the site, or providing opinions and information, anything that strikes your fancy. 
Contact: 
Mary Deschene, (the kids call me the Garden Lady), at 505-417-2561, or mary.deschene@gmail.com

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A Letter to the Mountain View Community….

Hello to all community garden supporters and Mountain View neighbors, 

As many of you know, we have been working to start a community garden at the Mountain View Community Center for several months, supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), as part of the outreach and involvement in the neighborhood. The new Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge is just a couple of miles south of the Mountain View Community Center, on 2nd St., and is an Urban Wildlife Refuge. This means we want to engage and work with nearby and regional neighbors to participate in the development of the Refuge, and have USFWS as a welcomed and integrated partner in the community and its activities, especially in working with youth. What better way to do this than to help start a garden!

We have had a lot of interest, and received offers to assist with planning and garden upkeep. 

At this time, the Mountain View Community Center (MVCC) is looking at redesigning its landscape, and the County Parks and Open Space planning department has asked us to wait before starting the main Community Garden project connected with the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. 
 
However, we have recently begun to put together the activities that involve children who attend the after-school program, and eventually the summer program. With the help of AmeriCorps volunteer Teresa Skiba, and four high school interns, the children have learned about seed sprouting and roots, looked through garden catalogs to think about what they would like to plant, and planted some seeds starts.
 
If any of you would be able to assist with the children on Thursday afternoons, I could really use some extra help from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. (We start at about 3:00, or earlier).  If you would like to help with an educational idea or activity, or just come along and dig in, please let me know. Our next topic is dirt. We will also be teaching about pollinators soon.
 
We are very pleased that MVCC will be getting a donation this week of two raised beds from the Academy of Trade and Technology, a charter High School near Broadway and Gibson. These were built by students, are 3’x6’x10”(approximately), and are wheel-chair height. We also will be using some large planter pots, and  we think we’ll be able to get started with the children planting in the existing raised beds in the fenced area to the west of the buildings soon. 
 
So let the gardening season begin for MVCC!!!
If you know of anyone who might be able to donate soil or compost, or help with delivery, please let me know at mary.deschene@gmail.com or 505-417-2561
I also would like to get those who are interested in planning for the garden together soon. What times work for you? Would Sunday, April 6th, about 11:30, or noonwork for any of you? We will talk for about 30 minutes about the children’s gardening, community gardening, and the mini-refuge concept garden. Please let me know if you can attend. 
 
Thanks, 
Mary Deschene

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