Five years ago, today, several of my colleagues, community members, administrators, the NJ Secretary of Agriculture, and many green industry rock stars from across the United States celebrated the opening of the Bullock Children’s Garden.
For five years, the Bullock Garden has been a place of respite, relaxation, beauty, and excitement for children and adults who entered it. We worked tirelessly to ensure the Bullock Children’s Garden grew and became a source of learning, love, and healthy food, accessible to all.
For five years, the Bullock Children’s Garden grew not only healthy, organic, incredible foods and companion plants that fed the bodies of the children and their families, but also their minds. My happiest memories were of the garden club I established to teach the children about the wonders of Mother Nature and the beauty the earth holds within her soil.
Then I retired this year to dedicate my time to grow a nonprofit, The Bullock Garden Project, Inc., and the Bullock Children’s Garden did not have a keeper. She has grown prolific weeds. She is in need of love and must remain essential for the Glassboro community.
I returned there today to make a plan for her, to ask her what she needed. She needs to be returned to a place of respite, relaxation, beauty, and excitement for children and adults who visit. She needs to be a place where people can have free access to healthy food. She needs to be ready to receive the love and laughter which will fill it once the children and teachers return to Bullock.
I love Bullock School. I always will. I will always love the Glassboro community. The people embraced me and still make my day when I’m in “the Boro” and I hear, “Ms. Harris!” coming from a child or parent (or young adult I taught when they were little...whew!). In the spirit and to paraphrase the words of Bullock Elementary’s namesake (and African American woman, who I greatly admire) Dorothy L. Bullock, I want to give back to the community that gave so much to me.
If you would like to learn how to grow your own food, or volunteer to come help restore Bullock Children’s Garden, please visit our website www.bullockgardenproject.org. We want to ensure we are following Governor Murphy’s regulations for social distancing and the CDC standards for safety, so we can only have a very small number of people working in the garden, and require times to sign up. I am also offering online workshops to Glassboro residents who would like to learn how to garden. If you reside in Hollybush Apartments or in the Park Crest Village Apartments, please sign up for the free workshops to help you learn how to grow food indoors.
I’ve got you, Bullock Elementary. And I’ve got you, Glassboro. That garden WILL be filled with food for you.