Did you know that this April was 4 degrees cooler than average and tied for the cloudiest April ever? We’ve waited so long for spring in 2022, and now – finally – there’s an explosion of green growth all around.
Following a similar trajectory, Hope for Creation has moved from waiting to growing. Over the last few months, we’ve grown our web presence and our community visibility (see recent coverage of EPS foam recycling and an electric vehicle charging recognition for one of our members), and now we’re growing our team.
We are thrilled to welcome Rachelle Yeaman as Hope for Creation’s part-time Garden Network Organizer. Rachelle (she/her/hers) is deeply fascinated by the divine magic of gardens. The webs of life and mycelia, the turning of the seasons, the secrets of composting microflora, and the sweetness of fresh raspberries inspire her year after year. She's a permaculturist, a Co-Manager for the Growing Community Garden on Gull Road in Kalamazoo, and the Operations Manager of ERACCE (Eliminating Racism and Creating/Celebrating Equity). She deeply values systems thinking, clear communication, sustainability, and grace for humans. Her work with Hope for Creation will focus on expanding our network of congregational gardens and building relationships among people of faith and conscience whose creation care is manifested through gardening.
Under Rachelle’s leadership, Hope for Creation will host several outdoor gatherings throughout the growing season.
2022 is shaping up to be an eventful growing season. The Hope For Creation Garden Network is organizing four events to promote learning, growth, fellowship, and community building.
First up will be our May 28th Bed Raising, where we’ll bring the community together to build two raised garden beds, fill them in, plant them, and then share a meal together at Allen Chapel AME Community Garden. Raised garden beds create attractive and accessible garden space and protect against potentially contaminated soil. You’re invited to join us. Please RSVP for the work day: https://forms.gle/kLnvsykVQ4psdpmr6
On June 18th, we’ll host a Congregational Garden Tour. Collectively, religious institutions in Kalamazoo control a lot of land. Join us to visit several congregations that are using their property to plant rain/pollinator gardens inspire play and curiosity in local kids, and feed our community. Check back here for details: https://www.hopeforcreation.net/events
Later in the summer, Growing Community Garden will host a community gathering with educational
demonstrations and fellowship. GCG grows on over 2.5 acres of land at Sunnyside UMC on Gull Road and makes all produce available to community members at no cost. Their volunteers have plenty to say about planting, cooking, preserving, and serving the community. Check back on our Events page for details as they become available.
In October, we’ll close out the growing season with our annual Harvest of Unity celebration at Temple B'nai Israel. Stewardship of the earth is central to so many faith practices; come hear words of hope, responsibility, and connection from faith leaders from across our city as the natural world prepares to rest. Share snacks, reflections, and burgeoning plans with fellow garden enthusiasts. Check back on our Events page for details as they become available.
As always, Hope for Creation relies on the generosity of its supporters. We are honored to have been awarded a second year of funding from the Mesara Family Foundation, and we hope to significantly increase our support from local congregations this year. If your congregation would like to know more about how it can help amplify the faith community’s voices and actions around climate change and creation care, please let me know. We’ve got a team of volunteers who would be delighted to connect with your congregational leadership and tell our story.
With so much hope for Creation,