Where yesterday there was a vacant lot, dotted with struggling bushes, today the Willows neighborhood boasts a lush garden. Brightly flowering ground cover holds the fragile soil, while palm trees blow in the wind and bold colors peek over a new white picket fence.
The most amazing part: the entire transformation took just a single day – thanks to the combined efforts of a determined team. Fiskars with support from The Home Depot Foundation helped to return a sense of community back to Orlando’s Willows neighborhood through Fiskars Project Orange Thumb initiative.
A team of over 50 tilled and planted from early morning to late afternoon at the garden site on December 11. The makeover included all donated labor, design time, project coordination, tools and necessary supplies. Fiskars selected the Willows neighborhood for this project and coordinated, developed, designed and managed the day long makeover. The Home Depot Foundation donated all planting materials and supplies for the project.
“The Willows Community Garden is the third in a series of national gardening projects for Fiskars. Our successful garden transformations in Chicago (May, 2008) and San Francisco (August, 2008) prove the importance of gardening to provide beauty, sustainable food resources and a place of community,” said Paul Tonnesen, President of Fiskars.
“We are truly delighted to have this great opportunity,” said Erma Green, member of the Willows Neighborhood. “I am sure that this will create the sense of community and a place of peace, both of which the neighborhood has not had in a great while.”
The Orlando Garden Makeover initiative is an extension of Fiskars’ successful Project Orange Thumb garden program. Started in 2003, Project Orange Thumb provides community garden groups with the tools and materials needed to reach their goals for neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. Most recently, Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb successfully completed a garden makeover in San Francisco in the Goettingen Neigborhood.