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May 3, 2018

Public Allies, Little Libraries, and a Community Garden

Vicki Rubio
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A key part of the Public Allies program is our Team Service Projects (TSP). Our Allies are placed into three small groups, matched with a neighborhood and some resident leaders, and asked to work with the neighborhood to create a project during their 10-month service term. This year we have the Galactic Forest Explorers serving in SWAN, MapleTONS of Fun Committee serving in Mapleton Fall Creek, and the Crown Hill Captains serving in Crown Hill. As part of TSPs, each group plans and implements  a service day in April for the whole group and other community volunteers to participate in.

The Galactic Forest Explorers have been working with neighbors to enhance the Mars Hill Community Garden. On April 13, we all met up at the garden to prep the main bed for planting. Allies and residents dug up and moved tons of rocks and tilled the soil. They also built new beds for strawberries and prepped a watermelon bed. The weather was perfect for getting dirty in the garden and the day was a great success!

The following week, MapleTONS of Fun Committee led us in their service day project. The Mapleton Fall Creek area has many different services for residents to access, but they aren’t always well advertised. After engaging in the community, the group created a resource guide for neighbors to use. During the service day, teams went out to distribute the guides to key community institutions. It was great to get this new resource out into the neighborhood.

Our last TSP group, Crown Hill Captains, have been working on an oral history project in the neighborhood. To complement this project, they teamed up with Groundwork Indy to create lending libraries to place in Crown Hill. For their service day, the morning was split working in Groundwork Indy’s garden and then moving the lending libraries to their locations. A beetle-designed library was installed at Kheprw Institute and a robot library was set up at the Dairy Queen on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Street. It was very fun to unveil these new libraries, and we hope that the residents enjoy them. As the program year starts to wind down, it is exciting to see the Team Service Projects come together!