Hilltop Garden Becomes a Reality!

Hilltop Garden volunteers create a community educational garden at PEEC. Photo by Greg Kendall

By GREG KENDALL

A community education garden has been created outside of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) at 3540 Orange St., just north of Los Alamos High School. Community members are welcome to come to help in planting 5:30-7:30 p.m., May 19 as the Garden is an opportunity for everyone in the community to participate in learning how to grow and care for plants.  

The Los Alamos Family Y is the sponsor of the garden that PEEC is hosting this year. Next year the garden will move to its new location on North Mesa next to the tennis court and adjacent to the Brewer Arena and horse stables. The County is granting this land to the Y through an RFP for the garden. The County recently received approval from federal officials to proceed with an education garden at the new location on North Mesa.

Garden volunteers said they are excited to see the garden moving forward this year at its PEEC location. April 29, a group of eight volunteers cleared weeds, hammered posts and worked on planter boxes at the Hilltop Garden.

Much of the funding for the Garden was provided by State Farm through the Los Alamos Youth Food Project. The goals of the State Farm grant are “to encourage and enable youth and adults to study and apply historical and current resilient gardening practices, and through the application of these practices, provide ongoing education and leadership opportunities for all ages.”

Hilltop Garden leader Kim Pulliam displays a bag given to volunteers April 29. Photo by Greg Kendall

Kim Pulliam leads the Hilltop Garden project for the Y. Pulliam is providing the key leadership for the garden effort, coordinating the many volunteers who are helping to create and maintain the garden. Her enthusiasm for the garden is infectious as she encourages everyone to pitch in and have fun.  

Pulliam welcomes everyone to become involved in its “growth.” Whether an individual, group or organization, the Hilltop Garden project welcomes them. She also welcomes hosting groups interested in visiting the garden for a “fieldtrip” or “day trip outing.”

“I’m so happy to see the start of the community garden and witness all the excitement that comes from the kids,” Pulliam said. “There are people I didn’t know before and now they are reaching out to me and want to get involved. Even if they can’t physically be involved, they want to participate in some way. It’s cool to see all the help we’ve gotten from PEEC, the Co-op Market and all the different people coming together from the goodness of their own hearts.”

At the May 19 planting, everyone is welcome to help put spring seedlings in the garden or observe and provide encouragement to the volunteers. Children are especially invited to come and learn about gardening, but everyone is welcome, regardless of age, Pulliam said.

Pulliam also is the coordinator of the Y Earth Service Corps (YESC) for kids 11-17. This summer, the YESC kids will work on the garden. The Yes Corps program runs June 9 to Aug. 1. Youth participants will help improve trails and do other service projects, as well as Hilltop Garden projects.

For more information on volunteering at the Hilltop Garden or the Y Earth Service Corps, contact Pulliam at 505.500.6918 or kpulliam@laymca.org or check the YMCA website at www.laymca.org. A Facebook page has been setup for the Garden at https://www.facebook.com/HilltopGardenLosAlamos.

 

 

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