Here’s an update from Charlotte Wray, the recipient of our first Awesome Fund:
“Hey guys! It seems like it’s been a minute since I’ve spoken with you all. You caught me at a wonderful time because this week I’ve been crazy busy with pollinator stuff.
I have secured a Burlington location for a garden! Burlington is my hometown, so I am super pumped to have a secured location here. It is the landscape in front of Thataways, right beside Burlington Parks and Rec. It’s a great location because of the kids that are there for summer camps, and all year round – it really goes hand in hand with the educational aspect I’m excited for. Someone had previously attempted a pollinator garden there, yet, was unable to complete it as she was pulled elsewhere on parks and rec. So here I am!
Planting will be a bit later, as they are going to clean up the area and prepare it for me – so I’m on their timeline, but I’m saving a lot of money. So the garden will be planted around the end of September/early October, with a bunch of perennials, and a new design – I’m super excited to be working with them! They are also a big part of our movement with Bee City USA.
Bee City USA is in the works!! I am so excited about this part. We (me and Caitlin Vatikiotis-Bateson with Alamance Beekeepers) have formed a committee with a few people from Master Gardeners and Alamance Beekeepers and myself, and we are in the beginning stages of getting everything in place to meet the application requirements. This takes time as we have to write up a bunch of things, partner with government entities, and many other things, but by next year in the March-May time frame, I expect to be a Bee City! We would have an event in the national pollinator week in June if we did get approved (and probably will even if we aren’t, which is highly unlikely).
I will be the pollinator planting person of this committee, and the one designated on the application. So the gardens I plant will be the gardens required for the application. It’s pretty simple, it’s just a lot of small hoops to jump through. We will be showing our faces more around town as we continue to move forward in this process.
This has been a heck of an experience so far. I feel like I’ve met everyone and their brother and everyone has an idea, and it’s taken the time to learn who knows who, and that everyone knows everyone, but who to chose has been the real challenge. But I’m excited for this to keep growing!
Still in the works: I’m working in the school garden at Eastlawn Elementary with Nate Tietbohl, but we are figuring out pollinator garden stuff. But there is a huge educational piece here.
The Blend/Holly Treadwell wants me to work on a few plants in the landscaping they are doing outside on the Blend patio. And she has offered her space for a little workshop on pollinator gardens — I’m trying to stick with one project at a time though, because that’s what held me back these few months, as I had so many options and things in the work, that I wasn’t able to really hone in on one.
Jason just sent me someone from Elon who wants pollinator stuff as well. It feels like I’m starting my own business, as I didn’t realize how many hoops there were to jump through before throwing some plants in the ground.
I’m hoping to plant at The Blend or somewhere before the Burlington garden, but we shall see! I’m going to be designing the tentative landscape for the Burlington garden soon so more updates to come!”
CoOperative is so excited for Charlotte and the ways she is working to enhance our community. We are currently taking applications for our next round of Awesome Fund-ing. Click here to apply!
To learn more about Charlotte and her vision click here.