Calling all volunteers to the garden

Fence needed for children to paint

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  • Linda Grinthal, owner of Sunset View Farm in Andover, and director of the Sunset Vista Community Garden & Learning Center.

By Rose Sgarlato

Sunset Vista Community Garden & Learning Center is partnering with Ginnie's House in Newton as part of its Children's Educational Garden project.

The non-profit Ginnie’s House is in its 20th year of serving the children of Sussex County who are victims of sexual, emotional or physical abuse.

Both non-profit organizations have come up with a fun and educational way for children to participate in the creation of the latest addition of the educational garden at Sunset View Farm on Pierce Road in Andover Township.

“The children will be painting our fence slats as part of their therapy. We will have their work on display all around the perimeter of the Children's Garden,” said farm owner and director Linda Grinthal. “Many people will enjoy their work during our field trips and gardening workshop days. We are kind of excited about this collaboration as it once again is a connection with our community that will serve others in a positive way.”

Grinthal is in need of about six volunteers to prepare the fence slats, sanding and priming, then the slats will be brought to Ginnie's House where the children will paint them.

Depending on the volunteer response, the project is slated for the end of June.

The vision of the children’s garden was started by gardener volunteers Jenn Earley, a teacher, and Alyssa Preziosi of Sussex County Community College and work began on it last year.

“This was a service project for a class. Alyssa made a plan using PowerPoint and came up with the initial design, expense budget and links to items we will need to purchase,” Grinthal said. “I applied for and was awarded a grant from Scott’s Miracle Gro in the amount of $500.”

Grinthal added that the plan for the garden is to have a touch-board for various sensory experiences. Informative signs will be on display with questions and answers for the young visitors . There will be herbs and flowers to help children experience the fragrances and beauty of the outdoor world.

"We want it to be an expression of how children see nature and produce,” she said.

Ginnie’s House will have the children they serve paint the slats as part of their therapy. Upon completion, the decorative garden fence will be placed around the perimeter.

Grinthal is looking forward to partnering with Ginnie’s House and believes in the message:

"Our goal is to help children learn to love being outdoors and to make the connection as to where their food comes from. We want them to see that carrots grow in the ground, that lettuce grows above ground and has roots.”

To volunteer or for more information, call Linda Grinthal at 973-579-7382.

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