Omaha Nursing Students prepare Council Bluffs Community Garden

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) – Dozens of Nebraska Methodist College students volunteered at Creektop Gardens, a community garden in Council Bluffs, on Wednesday.

In preparing the 90 plots for the upcoming gardening season, dozens of students worked in groups to weed, mulch and clear the planting beds.

“I think volunteering should be a part of everyone in a community,” said Melissa Hulbert, Nebraska Methodist nursing teacher. “Especially as nurses entering a profession where we care for our patients in different ways, I think it’s important to serve our community as well.”

The 712 initiative oversees Creektop Gardens. The nonprofit’s marketing director Rachel Kent said they were always happy to have helping hands.

“It’s such a big garden and it takes a lot of hands to get it ready for the season. So when we have large volunteer groups like we do today it helps prepare it faster and better for the gardeners,” she said.

Melissa Hulbert said nursing students learn valuable lessons through volunteering.

“I hope that you will see the importance of truly serving your community and all people. I’m not just worried about the acute illness, but about the patient as a whole. “

Another group of Nebraska Methodist students also helped renovate homes in Council Bluffs Wednesday.

As the gardening season approaches rapidly, the 712 initiative is hoping Creektop Gardens can expand its 2020 season once every property has been planted. Rachel Kent says this has been the best time of year in the nearly 10 years the community garden has existed.

“The garden was super lively, everything was growing, we had the most gardeners we’ve ever had, so we hope to make it bigger and better this year.”

Kent said it was possible the pandemic helped make 2020 banner season as more and more people looked for ways to get out of the house.

She hopes that as the restrictions are lifted, more people will be drawn to the garden, which is also a special study space for students. The 712 initiative looks forward to hosting educational workshops this summer for students interested in gardening, native birds, native plants, pollinators, and other topics.

Plots can still be reserved for the 2021 gardening season. You can apply on the 712 Initiative website.

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