Employees from Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores gathered from multiple Grand Rapids area stores for a day a service in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood. 22 employees or “Lowe’s Heroes” took time from work to use their talents to help spruce up the Roosevelt Park Community Garden, which is located adjacent to the Caesar Chavez Elementary parking lot.
“Some [Lowe’s employees] are even volunteering all day, then working from 3pm-12am tonight,” said Lou Green, store manager and Lowe’s spokesmen for the event. “We love supporting the community that supports us.”
The Lowe’s Heroes worked from 9:30am-3:30pm at the garden by taking apart an existing fence to move, spreading mulch inside and outside the garden, completing a pea stone pathway, and beginning construction on a new shed for the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.
An unexpected part of the day was moving the old shed from the Neighborhood Association’s backyard to the gardens. Although the distance was short, the shed had to cross the busy Granville Ave.
Thankfully between the Lowe’s employees and Habitat Kent site supervisors, the shed could be pulled across the street attached to a pickup truck (even though traffic was help up a bit).
“That’s what we do every day at Lowe’s,” said Robert, a Lowe’s Hero. “Feats of engineering.”
The day of volunteering was motivated by Lowe’s providing a $35,500 grant to Habitat Kent earlier this year. The grant money is going towards neighborhood revitalization in the Roosevelt Park community.
“This neighborhood revitalization is huge for us,” said Mary Buikema, Habitat Kent executive director. “We've been here for 30 years and it'll be our main focus for the next 10.”
The members of the community came out and worked with the volunteers including those who have plots in the community garden.
“I've seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood for the better,” said Renee, a garden volunteer and resident of the area for 23 years. "You have to keep people involved that's the biggest thing. A lot of people have been involved in this process."
Three years ago the community garden was a dirt filled parking lot, now through hard work and investment the land is filled with beauty and growth.
“There was this one man who never got involved, he's been here as long as I have," Renee said. "And now he's involved in the garden and that itself speaks volumes.”