The Wylde Center’s Brick Dedication Project Now Underway Through March 31st

edgewood learning garden 2

Monica Ponce, ECLG Manager

The Zeist Foundation, an Atlanta-based family foundation that addresses the needs of at-risk children and families through education, arts and culture and health and human services, is partnering with the Wylde Center on the next phase of development of the Edgewood Community Learning Garden (ECLG) in East Atlanta’s Edgewood neighborhood. The partners have announced ECLG’s first-ever brick dedication project to raise funds for the public greenspace. Individuals, families, businesses and foundations will have the opportunity to purchase one or more bricks through March 31, 2014 and inscribe a name or names on the brick. The engraved bricks will be used to create the main walkway leading from the entrance to the outdoor classroom pergola. Donors may select from three sizes and costs: $25 for a 4 x 8” brick, $50 for an 8 x 8” brick and $75 for a 12 x 12” brick, and may be ordered at Wylde Center Buy a Brick Campaign.

“When the Edgewood Community Learning Garden was created in June 2009, we had high hopes that it would become a safe and joyful learning environment for kids and families in Edgewood, and it has exceeded our expectations. However, this new redesign that the Wylde Center is managing promises to make the Learning Garden a beautiful sanctuary for Edgewood residents, Atlanta Public School students and neighborhood visitors for years to come,” said Brad Foster, Zeist Foundation board member.

In 2012, ECLG, located at 1503 Hardee Street, Atlanta, 30307, became a managed site by the Wylde Center, an Atlanta non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating vibrant greenspaces and inspiring communities of environmental stewards. The 3/4-acre education garden is open daily to the public during daylight hours, and includes a chicken coop, 11 raised vegetable beds, a 1,700-gallon rain harvesting cistern and a composting site. The brick dedication program will support the efforts of the Wylde Center and the Zeist Foundation to expand the garden’s environmental and educational offerings. In addition to the brick walkway and teaching pergola, plans include increased square footage for fruit and vegetable production, a larger chicken coop, bees, a butterfly garden and a tree house.

Monica Ponce with Students at Edgewood Community Learning Garden

Monica Ponce with Students at
Edgewood Community Learning Garden

“We are excited about renovating our outdoor classroom area to make it more functional, productive, and safe for the community and our education programs, said Monica Ponce, ECLG manager. “The dedication brick walkway will add an interesting feature to the garden, and the roster of names inscribed hopefully will honor loved ones, community members, partners, volunteers, and others. The plant-lined walkway will start at the garden’s entrance and end at the pergola/outdoor classroom. We hope our supporters will be excited to have the opportunity to contribute one or more bricks and will visit often to see ‘their’ section of the walkway.”

About the Zeist Foundation

Founded in 1989 by Dr. and Mrs. George W. Brumley, the Zeist Foundation invests in organizations that are innovative, collaborative and sustainable in serving children, youth and families. In addition to traditional grantmaking, the foundation has a “place-based” approach to its philanthropic giving, focusing on the Edgewood community. In 1994, The Zeist Foundation made its initial investment in the Edgewood community, establishing a school-based pediatric clinic operated by Emory doctors and nurses in Whitefoord Elementary  School. This collaborative partnership between the foundation, Atlanta Public Schools, and Emory University was a unique health education project and a catalyst for community building in Edgewood.

About the Wylde Center

In 1997, an idea took root in the Oakhurst area of Decatur, Ga. Neighbors Sally Wylde and Louise Jackson envisioned a community garden where children could learn about the natural world and enjoy hands-on gardening activities. With the purchase of a half-acre of property at the corner of South McDonough St. and Oakview Road, the Oakhurst Community Garden was born. Today, supported by members, foundations, corporations and donors, the non-profit has been re-named the Wylde Center to honor its co-founder and to better encompass its expanded range of properties and programs. The Wylde Center oversees four distinctive greenspaces, a year-round educational program for all ages, social events and the Decatur City Schools’ Farm to School Program. Staff and volunteers engage children, families and individuals in activities designed to develop creative skills in sustainable urban living, organic gardening, health and nutrition. Despite its robust growth, the Wylde Center has stayed true to its original mission of cultivating vibrant greenspaces for everyone to enjoy and inspiring communities of environmental stewards.

Article By:  Julie Herron Carson from East Atlanta Patch

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