The Community Crops Hudson community garden at 14th and Hudson streets in southwest Lincoln has a new 8- by 8-foot wooden shed for storing garden tools and supplies, thanks to an Eagle Scout project coordinated by Simon Zychowski, 16, a junior at Lincoln High School.
"The addition of this shed at 14th and Hudson has really fulfilled a longstanding need at this site, and we are looking forward to a great growing season next year!" said Amy Gerdes, director of operations for Community Crops. "We are incredibly grateful to Simon and troops 282 and 1855 for building this shed. They showed incredible dedication and hard work through both the planning and construction process."
At this site, gardeners include refugees (33.33%) and immigrants (13.33%) originally from Burma and Iraq in addition to lifetime U.S. residents (53.33%), Gerdes said. All totaled, 41 people from 15 households use the garden. Languages spoken at the garden include Karen, Kurdish, Karenni, Arabic and English.
Additionally, 80% of the gardeners qualify for financial assistance. These individuals pay reduced plot fees of $10 per 100 square feet.
Lowe's donated most of the wood for the framing, and Zychowski bought other materials inexpensively at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The remaining materials were donated by friends and family members.
While Scouts from the two troops built the shed over a couple of weekends, the entire Eagle Scout project, which included planning, approval, acquiring supplies and permits, building and other tasks, required most of 2020.
Including 14th and Hudson, Community Crops has 11 garden sites across Lincoln. In addition to space, the program provides free seeds, transplants, and as needed, additional resources such as organic pest control and amendments at no cost.
Community Crops supports 155 households. Across all these sites, 76.77% of gardeners qualify for financial assistance, and 44.5% self report that they identify as immigrant, refugee or both. The program also has a training farm located at Prairie Pines.
For more information about Community Crops, go to www.communitycrops.org.