It’s Spring; so of course, the Community Garden is growing!

The community garden is the backyard of historic 508 Park.

The community garden is the backyard of historic 508 Park.

On March 20, the first day of Spring, the Encore Park Community Garden recognized the work of the TREC Young Guns.  60-some people from TREC and supporting organizations were there in the cold and rain on Friday to make their first plantings.  

The community garden raised beds.

The community garden raised beds.

Located in the “back yard” of 508 Park and adjacent to Dallas Farmers Market, Encore Park Community Garden enhances the quality of urban life in downtown Dallas by providing resources and space for the creation and maintenance of a safe, well-equipped community garden.
•    Community – A place for diverse groups to gather, share meals, and to garden with one another
•    Environmental Stewardship – Full utilization and promotion of composting, recycling, solar panels, and rain water harvesting
•    Education – A learning laboratory for educational events, children’s programs, and a teaching kitchen 
•    Healthy living – A commitment to organic best practices and growing healthy food, as well as using gardening activities to improve physical, social, cognitive and/or mental health 

Therapeutic Horticulture Program 
An innovative therapy that uses gardening to help The Stewpot’s homeless clients achieve both mental and physical health. Gardening classes teach skills while caring for plots shifts clients’ focus outwardly. Clients gain emotional, social and vocational rehabilitative skills as well as build relationships with fellow gardeners.

The Young Guns planting

The Young Guns planting

Elias Bahar, Emily Hentry, Brian Smith, Justin Goertz, Anna Proctor, Yixiao Liu, Brad Barton, Jonathan Campbell of the TREC Young Guns.

Elias Bahar, Emily Hentry, Brian Smith, Justin Goertz, Anna Proctor, Yixiao Liu, Brad Barton, Jonathan Campbell of the TREC Young Guns.

Dedication plaque recognizing the TREC Young Guns

Dedication plaque recognizing the TREC Young Guns

“We chose the Encore Park Community Garden because it was a very clear and achievable need in the Downtown Urban Core. This garden stands to become a guide for future gardens in the area and we hope The Real Estate Council involvement leads to achieve this goal.  We believe in the diverse group this garden serves, from homeless Stewpot Clients to local residents. The garden is managed by a very strong committee and we are confident that it will be a great success,” said Young Guns Chair Brian Smith, Beck Group and Vice Chair Elias Bahar, Pritchard Associates.
 
“The garden gives the opportunity for multiple generations and demographics to spend quality time with each other and form a better understanding about others’ needs,” said Emily Henry, TBG Partners.
  
Here is some background information about TREC Young Guns’ involvement.
•    The Real Estate Council Young Guns are commercial real estate professionals 35 and under who are driven by a common vision to develop relationships while promoting awareness and involvement in social, political and community issues that affect the city of Dallas.
•    The Young Guns select a Foundation Project every year. Last year it was The Stewpot Community Garden in Encore Park.
•    Landscape architects, TBG Partners and Kimley-Horn and Associates, provided pro bono design services through their Young Guns members.
•    Through larger volunteer workdays, we saw the project come to life constructing garden boxes, installing soil and irrigation at all boxes, and building a tool storage structure.
•    The Real Estate Council Young Guns contributed more than 600 volunteer hours and raised a total of $53,890 to support this project.

In kind donors to the project include Bratton Steel, Lasco Acoustics & Drywall, Jamieson Fencing, Nestle Waters North America, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop and Emergency Ice

Photo's courtesy of The Real Estate Council