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Metro Health Volunteer Garden Takes Root

Volunteers from Metro Health have added another layer of sustainability to the hospital’s already very “green” routine.

Metro Health has transformed a corner of its campus into a productive plot that serves as a vegetable garden that supports its cafeteria. Metro has provided the land, 16 yards of compost, straw, gardening gloves, towels, knee cushions, weeding implements and other tools to volunteers. Rain water gathered by the hospital’s bioswales is used to water the garden.

Two Metro Health employees, Trina Lickley and Sue Wojciechowski, donated the plants. When planting was complete, volunteers returned to weed and spread straw around the base of the plants.

“This has been a great project that allows all of us to come together as a healthcare community,” said Alison Waske, sustainability officer. “Metro Health remains a strong proponent of sustainability, especially locally grown, chemical-free healthy food. Our community garden showcases this commitment to environmental responsibility while giving  back something tasty and healthy to the hospital and our volunteers.”

The volunteers are currently donating most of the harvest to Metro’s Food and Nutrition Department, which provides a portion to the Metro Health cafeteria to feed employees, visitors and patients’ family and friends. Volunteers also get to take home some of the vegetables.

The garden has already yielded banana peppers, herbs, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli and different types of squash.

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joseph.weller@metrogr.org