Gardening volunteers needed in Decorah

Posted: May 1, 2012
Gardening volunteers needed in Decorah

The Northeast Iowa RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is seeking volunteers to serve in four local community gardening projects. The Spectrum Network, the Decorah Park and Recreation Department and two nursing homes, Aase Haugen and Barthell Eastern Star, are doing summer garden projects and are seeking volunteer assistance.

The Spectrum Network will be continuing its Wellness Garden Project, which began last summer with the help of David Cavagnaro and the Pepperfield Project.  RSVP volunteers are needed to assist with weeding, watering, and harvesting of the vegetables in Spectrum's garden.

Jeff Scott, through the Decorah Park and Recreation Department, will lead a program for young people in the "Driftless Garden Youth Project."   Children, ages 8 through 10, will be planting, weeding, watering and harvesting vegetables in one of the city garden plots.  Jeff needs two RSVP volunteers to assist the children and help with the summer project. They will also help with the maintenance of the garden throughout the summer.

Last summer Julie Fischer volunteered at Aase Haugen in its "Courtyard Garden Club."  Several residents of Aase planted nurtured and harvested vegetables in the raised gardens.  Darlene Juve, Activity Director, hopes to increase participation and needs more RSVP volunteers to assist.

Barthell's Eastern Star Home has several flower gardens around its building and Mae Schmitt, Activity Director, asks for three volunteers to water and maintain the gardens.

The RSVP program draws upon the skills and interests of a diverse group of volunteers to serve the needs of the community.  In order to become an RSVP volunteer, one must have attained 55 years of age.  Volunteers have flexible schedules and individuals are able to determine the number of hours they would like to spend volunteering, as well as when those hours are scheduled.

The Decorah Public Library sponsors the Northeast Iowa RSVP. Orientation and training for new volunteers is provided through the RSVP program and the site(s) where volunteers will be serving.  The RSVP program currently includes 27 volunteer locations within Winneshiek County and has over 240 members.  For more information about joining the RSVP program, visit the RSVP office at Decorah Public Library or call Director, Kathy Barloon or Volunteer Coordinator, Lyle Otte at 563-382-3717.

Source:, Apr 29, 2012

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