Progress made on the Angel Garden

Through local partnerships, the Angel Garden, the Cambridge-Isanti High School-Community Garden, is underway.

Allina Health-Cambridge Medical Center, Neighborhood Health Connection Grant, provided a grant to build the school-community garden.

The goal of the Angel Garden project is to plan and implement a school-community garden in order to: increase school and community collaboration, provide healthy foods for school programs and community organizations, enhance school environment, coordinate community work groups during summer months and support the school farm to fork initiative.

Gathering for the Sept. 19 groundbreaking ceremony includes Karla Patrick, Jessica Miller, Darcy Rylander, Bruce Danielson, Katie Walker, John Nordin, Melissa Carstensen, Jim White, Jim Godfrey and Chuck Carstensen.Photo by Rachel Kytonen
Gathering for the Sept. 19 groundbreaking ceremony includes Karla Patrick, Jessica Miller, Darcy Rylander, Bruce Danielson, Katie Walker, John Nordin, Melissa Carstensen, Jim White, Jim Godfrey and Chuck Carstensen.Photo by Rachel Kytonen

Cambridge-Isanti High School held a garden kick-off Sept. 19-20, where teams built the fence and prepared for the shed and raised bed to be made.

The timeline is as follows:

Fall 2014:

  • Break ground for the Angel Garden. This will include: tilling the land, building a fence, garden plots and raised beds, securing appropriate gardening equipment and assuring water access.
  • Create a design for the Angel Garden that will include a memory bench, bird feeders (built by students in the Cambridge-Isanti Industrial Tech classes), and flower beds in memory of staff and students that have passed away.

Winter 2014-15:

  • Coordinate monthly meetings and find volunteers for the summer garden.
  • Design the layout of the garden for Spring 2015.
  • Order plant seeds, bulbs, and garden equipment.
  • Build relations with community groups to increase sustainability. Outreach might extend to the following organizations: Master Gardeners, local church youth groups, community groups, Cambridge-Isanti student organizations and clubs

Collaborative partners: Allina Health; Katie Walker, Cambridge-Isanti High School Teacher; John Nordin, Community Garden Manager; Les Anderson, Isanti County Master Gardeners; Melissa Carstensen, Isanti County Public Health; Cambridge-Isanti High School Administration, Maintenance, Industrial, Art, Food Service, Community Education; Young Life and other community members.

All are welcome to join School Garden Team. Contact Katie Walker at [email protected], or Melissa Carstensen at [email protected] for more information.

The Angel Garden was one of seven Healthy Activity grants that Cambridge Medical Center gave through the Neighborhood Health connection.

Some of the other funded programs included:

  • Isanti County WIC program – teaching how to grow a garden.
  • Cambridge-Isanti HS – Creating an Angel Garden.
  • Neighborhood Group – Coming together to eat well and be active.
  • ATS – Worksite wellness plan.
  • North Branch Senior Center – Diabetes Program – Eating Well.
  • Ecumen/North Branch Senior Living – Trike & Roll Events.
  • The Refuge Network – Nutrition and Kids Activities.

This is the third year of the Neighborhood Health Connection program and the organization was granted just over $22,000 for healthy activities done in the community.

Neighborhood Health Connection improves the health of communities through social connections, healthy eating and physical activity. Being active and eating healthy foods are good for us. Research shows that people are more likely to stick with healthy activities if they do them with other people.