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Roots Community Garden, A Community Collaboration

Roots Community Garden brings together multiple groups in Palatine to help the community.

This spring, the , the , and the joined forces to create a new community garden in Palatine.  The Roots Community Garden is located north of the Palatine Fire Station at 1475 N. Hicks Road, just north of Dundee Road in Palatine. This cooperative project benefits Palatine residents who utilize the services offered by the in Northeast Palatine.

In 1999, the (POC) opened, offering a centralized location where educational, health, social service and government agencies could collaborate in providing resources for the families in Northeast Palatine.  According to their website, www.palatineopportunitycenter.org, POC “welcomes and introduces families and individuals in need, including immigrant families, to the Palatine community, connecting them with local resources, providing a pathway for their integration and success.”

POC has a women’s organization called ROLE: Reaching Out Leading to Excellence.  These ladies are volunteers from the community who are training for leadership, higher education, and better jobs.  Last year, the group was involved with a garden project in Harvard, Illinois, growing corn and pumpkins. Due to the travel distance involved, participation was limited to just five days of involvement in 2011.

The success of those five days, coupled with Scott Ohlrich’s dream, led to the birth of a community wide project, starting in January 2012 right here in Palatine.  Scott Ohlrich served with the Palatine Fire Department for 30 years, and it was his desire to see the empty land next to the fire station at 1475 N. Hicks Road used for something positive.  And the Roots Community Garden was born.

The garden is located in Palatine, allowing greater access for families in the area to volunteer and care for the plants and vegetables in the garden.  The project began with seeds, literally, that were obtained through grant writing, and 35 POC families who stepped up to offer their time and talents to the project. With the support of the , the , the , and many volunteers and community organizations, the garden is now flourishing.  Seeds that were planted in cups and taken home in late winter were then transplanted in a greenhouse that the group was allowed to use courtesy of . The plants were once again transplanted in the Roots Community Garden itself after the frost season had safely passed.

Future plans for the project include providing yoga, nutrition and fitness classes at the garden for the volunteers who maintain it. Classes will be an extension of the benefits offered through fresh fruits and vegetables for maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. These classes have been made possible through the I-Compete program and a grant from . To see if you are eligible to attend these health and nutrition programs at the garden, please contact Cristina Lara at 847-496-6305 or clara@palatineparks.org

The Roots Community Garden represents the seedling of an idea that is growing to its full potential thanks to the efforts of many community  members.  If you would like to donate time, expertise, funds, garden equipment, or gardening supplies to the project, please contact the Palatine Opportunity Center at (847) 776-9500 or visit www.palatineopportunitycenter.org.

The Palatine Park District is a separate municipal governing agency established for the purpose of providing parks, facilities and recreational programs for the community.  The Park District is responsible for the maintenance, operation and administration of parks and parks facilities under its jurisdiction. Our mission is to provide a variety of safe, enjoyable and affordable parks and recreation facilities and activities that will enhance the quality of life by promoting good health and well-being for all residents and visitors of the Palatine Park District. Blog author, Joan Scovic, is the Marketing and Sponsorship Coordinator for Palatine Park District. 

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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