Lebanon Rotary Club was awarded a $500 Express Grant in 2019-20 to create a Pollinator Habitat Garden at Porter Community Park.
Three club members — Peggy Sweet, Diane Meiner, and Elaine Timm — initiated the project, writing a grant proposal, then met with the park manager to be sure plans followed guidelines. The original plan was to focus on native plants, but that proved impractical, so the club focused on having a mix of native and non-natives with a good variety of color and shapes of blooms, as well as trying to get blooms throughout different seasons.
The group cleared the plot of weeds to get it ready for planting before club members showed up to work. On our first workday, the club had three cubic yards of mushroom compost to spread — an enormous pile! It needed to be moved from the parking lot to the garden plot, about 150 feet away. Volunteers had three wheelbarrows, lots of shovels, and plenty of help and the weather was perfect–the sky was gloomy, but not a single raindrop fell until the work was done.
After a waiting period, the next step was planting. Several Rotarians met for a Thursday-afternoon planting session. The garden items were purchased from a local nursery or the OSU Master Gardening Program, but a lot of our club members brought starts from home. The garden coordinator, Sheryl Casteen, donated wooden stepping blocks and two bee houses. Club member Diane and her husband donated and installed a sunflower tower which is the centerpiece of our garden.
With the help of district leaders and the Rotary Brand Center, we designed metal signage stating that the garden was established by Rotary Club of Lebanon. This was a terrific project that brought a lot of club involvement. It was particularly special to do a hands-on project that was well suited for outdoor social distancing. It was a great chance to get better acquainted with fellow Rotarians through service.
SIDEBAR: GRANT REQUESTS OPEN FOR 2020-21 YEAR
Clubs interested in submitting a request for a 2020-21 $500 Express Grant can do so by contacting Executive Assistant Governor Michele Kellison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Michele will oversee the Express Grant program this year. Grant requests can be made in three categories: literacy, growing the Rotary brand, and new member engagement through service.