What do you get when you combine passionate company employees, with a neighborhood intensely interested in revitalizing their community, but with little money to do anything about it? Well in this case, an extreme garden makeover, compliments of the Fiskars Company, Project Orange Thumb. Today was the third installation of a major garden this year by Team Orange, along with the help of Home Depot, Leu Gardens and neighbors from this Orlando Florida church and surrounding community. And once again, I had the privilege and opportunity to be a part of this project, from plan all the way through to completion.
The site for this project was the corner lot of the Miracle Tabernacle Full Gospel Church. For years, it has served as the anchor and safe haven in an area of town otherwise known for its share of challenges. However, in recent years, the need has become even greater for another type of miracle like this to revitalize the community as well as this rather barren and neglected site. And according to the many dignitaries in attendance at today’s garden dedication, that’s exactly what they got. Amidst tornado warnings, gusting winds and torrential rains, over 50 people worked unceasingly to see this garden transformation through to completion with time to spare before the 3:00 pm dedication.
What culminates with the beehive of activity on installation day is really the manifestation of a well-orchestrated and intensely coordinated event that begins months in advance. But for a garden makeover of this magnitude to be completed in just a matter of hours requires not only careful planning but also the herculean efforts of all the volunteers on the actual workday. Yet no matter how thorough the planning or great the pep talk, you still can’t control the weather. But it didn’t matter. There was no stopping the determined volunteers set on seeing this garden completed on schedule, no matter what Mother Nature had in store.
Ironically, although much of the day was spent under a steady downpour, by mid afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun shined brightly on this garden and all who had come to celebrate it’s completion. What a fitting bit of symbolism for the fresh start and bright future that’s sure to come as the result of Project Orange Thumb’s impression left here today.
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