NASWI Liberty Programs: Cutting Edge Growth

12 Jul 2017

Cutting edge program grows as NASWI MWR Liberty Programs goes green
By: NASWI F&FR Marketing, Jenni James

Tuesday, July 11-The NASWI community was invited to witness the second completed Quality of Life project of the summer for NASWI Unaccompanied Housing (UH) residents. Eight new garden boxes were built to provide a green space for residents. The eight new garden boxes, outside UH Bldg. 381, are located next to the first completed Quality of Life summer project, the Pavilion, funded by the ‘2016 Best Base in the Navy’ Award.

In January, NASWI MWR Community Recreation kicked off a new series called “Home Gardening Series: Grow your Own Groceries.” The first session brought in close to 20 patrons with many of those single sailors. The series was provided by Master Gardner, Anza Muenchow, Farm-to-School (SNAP Ed Coordinator), WSU Extension Island County. Every class sent patrons home with seedlings in hopes of new growth.

Single sailors, living in NASWI Unaccompanied Housing, came to Muenchow when their seedlings took and asked, “Now what do we do with them?” Muenchow then replied, “You can put them on your patio.”

From this moment, the need for usable outdoor green space immediately grew for UH residents.

NASWI MWR leadership quickly asked for a grant from CNIC for the garden box project and was immediately awarded. In a matter of months, the $5,000 grant helped fund eight garden boxes, filled with hearty compost from NASWI Recycling, and by the end of June plants were growing in the boxes.

At the Garden Box ground breaking ceremony, Jeffrey Shaw, NASWI MWR Director, discussed at the how the idea evolved from partnerships formed between NASWI and other governmental agencies.  NASWI Environmental, NASWI Recycling, Washington State Department of Agriculture, CNIC, and WSU Extension Island County Master Gardeners all had a role in creating an innovative and healthy alternative for sailors to enjoy their downtime.

CS1 Dion Thomas, helped Muenchow plant the honorary Camellia Sinensis with the Golden Garden Shovel. When asked CS1 Thomas what his specialty was in his field at the Admiral Nimitz Hall Galley he said, “I love all food. I love cooking.”

The celebration ended with a beautiful cake topped with berries in hopes that one day these very garden boxes will also provide as sweet a bounty for the UH residents.

For NASWI UH residents interested in gardening, stop into the Liberty NW Center for more information or call (360) 257-3309.

Garden Photos click here!