Community Collaborative Garden





History Logs

Project Description

Country: USA

Location: Pleaasantville< NY

Total Budget: $5,000

Areas of Focus: Community economic development, The environment

Activity Type: Food/Agriculture: Volunteer Services

Summary: Transforming a vacant lot into a community garden and environmental education center.

Organizational Overview: Collaborative Garden

The Rotary Club of Pleasantville is interested in funding a collaborative garden and community environmental education center in our village. Our club will also participate in the development of the Collaborative Garden and it's programs through the volunteer program. The funds from the grant will be used to fund 4 key areas of the collaborative Garden: on-site composting, developing community education and engagement program, development of a volunteer program, garden pollinators. these projects will be completed by the fall of 2022. The director of the center, Susan Chupungco provided our club with the following proposal (it has been edited for the purposes of this application):

On April 4, 2021 a group of 11 volunteers broke ground on the Collaborative Garden

Project. Our idea was to transform a large lawn in front of a vacant church, owned by the United Methodist Church, into a garden that would produce food for families experiencing food insecurity. Since that time more than 80 individuals have volunteered in the garden producing over 600 pounds of food. Approximately 80% of our produce was donated to local food pantries and feeding programs.

In the seven-months since we started planning for the Collaborative Garden Project we

have become well-known in our community for the work we are doing. Not only is our

garden highly visible drawing passersby to stop over and inquire, we have an active

social media presence, and have had experts in permaculture, gardening, composting,

and more, come alongside our initiative sharing their knowledge and connecting us to

an even greater network of resources and support which have significantly contributed

to our success.

Our project is run on the power of volunteers. This year we have had more than 80 different individuals volunteer at the garden.

Grant Rationale:

After a full season of growing, we are currently getting the garden prepped for winter so

that come spring it will be ready for our crops. Additionally, we are looking to initiate a few projects in order to make our garden more functional, sustainable, and fruitful in the future:

On-site composting, engaging our community through educational classes and

workshops, equipping our volunteers to work independently, and supporting pollinators

by hosting a beehive.

These projects will not only increase our garden yield to feed more families, but will

allow us to reduce both waste and cost, while engaging the community through

education and volunteerism.

1. Compost

The garden produces a decent amount of green waste. We discovered that removing

the waste from the garden is cumbersome due to the location of our gate and our lack

of foresight in what we would do with the materials. We are consulting with a local

master composter to establish an on-site compost system that can handle the green

waste from our entire property. Producing our own compost would not only be an

ecological solution but an economic one as well; we spent $475 on compost in 2021.

This project includes the addition of a gate to our deer fence and building a compost

system using wood and wire mesh. Volunteers would prep the site for the compost area,

help build the bins, and fill them with green waste over the course of a single work day.

2. Community Education & Engagement

Adjacent to the garden are 3-acres of woodland which are also owned by the United

Methodist Church. Volunteers with experience in trailblazing have created a nature trail

that provides the opportunity to teach about the impact invasive species have on our

regional ecosystem as well as how to identify and eradicate them. This project involves

multiple work days completing the trail along with purchasing and installing trail markers

and plant identification signs. We also remove poison ivy before opening the trail to the public.

In the coming season we plan to utilize these experts and the community reputation of

our garden to offer a series of classes on growing food. We have outlined courses and

identified potential instructors for covering subjects such as composting, pollination,

identifying invasive species, harvesting, storing and preserving, foraging, and natural

pest control. We will feature local and regional experts, while utilizing our trained

volunteers to assist learners with related projects in the garden and on the nature trail.

An outdoor seating area comprised of 3 commercial grade picnic tables will

serve as both on outdoor classroom and picnic area for volunteers and visitors.

3. Volunteer Development & Engagement

There are two issues regarding our volunteers - training and access to tools. The

efficacy of our volunteers is currently limited by the number of skilled gardeners we

have directing and teaching our less experienced volunteers and the lack of access to

the tools needed for the work. To mitigate these obstacles we will host a training event

at the beginning of the 2022 garden season and a storage shed will be installed so our

tools and supplies can be securely stored, while remaining accessible for volunteers.

Incorporating a shed into the site would increase our ability to schedule volunteers to

work independently. For this project a pre-built rubbermaid or other similar style plastic

shed would be constructed on-site by volunteers after leveling the site.

4. Garden Pollinators

Lastly, our proposed budget includes installing a beehive for the 2022 season.

Pollinators are necessary for a garden to flourish and produce food, they are also at risk

as their numbers continue to decline. A seasonal installation of a beehive provides four

ways for us to have a positive impact on the garden and community. First, beehives are

immediately recognizable by their signature white wooden structure and draw attention

to our garden; it's incredible publicity. Second, bees fly up to 2 miles away from the hive.

Along the way they pollinate the gardens of our neighbors and support biodiversity in

the area. Third, our beekeeper will lead one or more of our community courses using

the beehive as a teaching tool. Fourth, beehives are fun! People of all ages are drawn

to the beehive and come back to the garden time and again to watch the bees.


Compost Area $850 (access gate $300, turning forks $100, 3 bin system $450)

Nature Trail $800 (trail markers $100, species identifier signs $200, poison ivy removal $500)

Volunteer Engagement $950 (shed installation $800, volunteer training $150)

Community Engagement $1,600 (advertising $350 outdoor seating $1,250)

Garden Pollinators $800 (beehive installation $800)

Project Total $5,000

Project Contact Person

District: 7230

Rotary Club of: Pleasantville

Primary Contact: Henry Levya

Email: hleyva385@gmail.com

Project Status

This project is "Completed". This means the project has been implemented and the report was accepted by the district leadership. The project will stay listed on this website as a testimony of the achievements of the project partners.

Project listed for the 2021-22 Rotary Year.

Proposed Financing

Existing Contributions Towards This Project





Pleasantville (7230)









Project Supporting Documents

final report

Fully signed MoU for PRC

Garden Pics


Project Photos

There are no photos yet for this project.
Go to the administration page to upload photos.

History Log Entries


System Entry

System Entry: Creation of project page.


by Henry Levya

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


by Henry Levya

System Entry: Project signed by Henry Leyva.


by Mahbub Ahmad

System Entry: Signature Process cancelled by user.


by Mahbub Ahmad

System Entry: Project sent for club signatures.


System Entry

System Entry: Project signed by Henry Leyva.


System Entry

System Entry: Project signed by Henry Leyva.


by David Schribman

Approved with a DDF match for $1,950, not $2,500


by David Schribman

System Entry: Project approved by the District Approval Committee.


by David Schribman

Henry Leyva informed me on 5/18/22 that project will be completed Fall/22.


by David Schribman

Grant approved by stewardship. What a terrific project. Well done!


by David Chew

System Entry: Check for DDF payment issued by Foundation Treasurer.


by Mahbub Ahmad

System Entry: Project has been implemented and final report uploaded.


by Mahbub Ahmad

System Entry: Final report approved by the District Approval Committee.

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