Kids learn to dig gardening at U Dig It! Community Garden. 

July 31, 2021

Kids learn to dig gardening at U Dig It! Community Garden. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

Around the County is a presentation of Preferred Credit Union, www.preferredcu.org, located locally at 266 N. Jebavy Dr., Ludington.

Two more summer workshops being offered. 

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Summer workshops teaching kids about gardening are continuing into August with two more sessions for children ages 7 to 11. The Dig It! summer series is a reboot of the former Michigan State University Extension Service’s Eat a Rainbow garden education program that used to be held at the Lakeshore Food Club. In April, the garden plots for the program were moved from the food club on Tinkham Avenue to the U Dig It! Community Garden at the United Methodist Church of Ludington, 5810 W. Bryant Road.  

Kendra Gibson of MSU Extension (MSUE) said the new location has given the program an opportunity to expand and also an opportunity for the gardeners of U Dig It! to share their knowledge and joy of gardening with children. 

MSUE continues to partner with Lakeshore Food Club, along with AFFEW (A Few Friends of the Environment of the World), and the community garden to present the free series. 

Programs have been held bi-weekly on Tuesdays beginning on June 15 with topics that have included native plants, vegetable gardening, and art from nature. 

The next two programs include: Tuesday, Aug. 3, Exploring the Garden and Beyond, nature scavenger hunt; and Tuesday, Aug. 10, learning about birds with a representative from Sable Dunes Audubon Society who will talk about the many birds seen around the garden. Participants will build birdhouses.

Sara Bolan, left, and Kendra Gibson

The programs are from 10 to 11 a.m. with a maximum of 15 participants. Those interested can call MSU Extension at 231-845-3361. 

“This has been a great opportunity to bring together our community gardeners with youth,” said Sara Bolan, garden manager. “We have several of our gardeners who said they look forward to the days the kids are out here.” 

U Dig It! Community Garden was started several years ago and offers gardening space for people who may not be able to have a garden at their home, or who wish to share a communal space. Some garden spaces are used to provide food for the Lakeshore Food Club. To date, this summer, the garden has produced and donated over 300 bags of produce for the food club. 

“Gardening is such a therapeutic activity,” Gibson said. “These gardens provide friendship and companionship, along with an opportunity for exercise and to be out in nature.” 

Gibson said her vision is to bring community gardens to other places in Mason County and to also expand the youth educational component as well, both at the Pere Marquette Township location and other places. 

“We are hoping that with the new elementary school being built across the street that we can form a relationship with Ludington Area Schools to bring more programs to this garden,” Gibson said. “We are also hoping to form new partnerships with the other county school districts and other towns around Mason County.” 

To learn more about U Dig It! Community Garden, email Sara Bolan at [email protected] 

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