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Free community gardening

May 22 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Several local agencies and a church are jumpstarting the growing season with a free plant exchange for adults, and a seed giveaway for youth and on Saturday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. The event, which is free and open to all, will be held at the St. Paul Community Garden, 1821 Carroll Street (off Center Street between 11th and 12th).  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine and Kenosha Counties, the Racine Garden Network (RUGN), St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church of Racine, and the Wisconsin County Extension office are the event sponsors.

The plant exchange is a way to share perennials that you need thinned out or no longer want. Participants can bring plants, bulbs, seedling, and seeds to the exchange and take as many plants as you need. Organizers are asking that everyone show up by 10 a.m. The event will be held rain or shine.

“There are lots of reasons to attend: You can thin your perennials or add variety to your garden. You can reap the bounty of your neighbors’ garden and unwanted purchases, and you can save money, beautify your neighborhood, and meet some garden friends,” said Sonya Thomas, executive director o Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Easy to grow vegetables such as peas and radishes will be given to children who want to learn about gardening. For example, “Pea seeds are big, making them easy for little hands to hold onto, and they don’t require thinning.  Also, radishes produce quickly so they are a great choice for children who are eager to learn about gardening and harvesting.

Children who want to receive seeds or plants must register by May 15, so organizers can prepare for them. Adults who want to participate in the plant swap can just show up by 10 a.m. Please bring a bucket, pot, or plastic to transplant your bounty.

The St. Paul’s community garden manager said this year’s garden will offer several educational and enjoyable activities for families, friends, children, and neighbors to enjoy together.  Garden plots are available first-come-first-serve for a $20 donation. Proceeds benefit RUGN. Children gardeners and their mentors participate free of charge when they register.

According to Sonya Thomas, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters added, “ We hope that local children will get to experience gardening with help from a mentor.”  Garden Mentors, novice or expert alike will teach children how to start and maintain their own vegetable garden.  All food grown during the program will go to the families involved. There will also be fun weekly games and educational garden activities, cooking demonstrations, and more.

If you or someone that you know is willing to share a couple of hours a month in the garden with a school-aged child this summer, please call Big Brothers Big Sisters at (262) 637-6525 or email


St Paul Community Garden Network
1821 Carroll Street
Racine, WI
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