Microsoft Volunteers Help Refugees Plant New Roots
The IRC’s New Roots program is a nation-wide initiative to increase access to fresh food and agricultural opportunities while furthering refugee involvement in their neighborhoods. Here in King County, we have the Namaste Community Garden. This community garden was established in 2011, and has approximately 64 plots, nearly 60 of which are worked by our clients. The garden is a joint project by the IRC in Seattle, Forterra, and St. Thomas Catholic Church and has grown because of the dedication and hard work of these organizations. By putting down physical roots in their plots within this community garden, refugees increase their connection to both their new community and their fellow gardeners.
For the annual Day of Caring organized by the United Way, the Namaste Garden saw sixteen enthusiastic Microsoft volunteers come to weed, clear new plots, and reapply burlap to mark pathways. They were joined by nearly 30 gardeners who came to work their plots and hear a Seattle Tilth talk about extending the growing season and readying their plots for the winter months. While most of the gardeners have countless years of experience cultivating crops in their native country, the Tukwila climate is different from what they’re used to.
We’d like to thank the Microsoft volunteers for their service, and encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering with the IRC to contact us.