The Michelle Peaslee Learning Garden
The Garden's purpose is to create a garden providing healthy food, outdoor recreation, education, positive social interaction and to build community engagement and self-sufficiency.
There are so many benefits to having a community garden: it encourages a stronger, safer community by connecting people to each other, helps people facing food insecurity, and encourages healthy activities. We all benefit from some great learning along the way!
The garden was first planted on June 15th 2018, a collaboration between United Christian Services and the VBISD Community Transition Center. We are now in our 4th season.
The Garden is great for building community. We welcome families, individuals and groups
How you can get involved
Join us on one of our work-nights, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Wear sensible shoes, bring gardening gloves if you have them and come ready to be part of a team. There is always lots to do!
Adopt-a-Bed- We have several raised beds for families to use to grow their own plants, whether it is vegetables, fruit or flowers, the choice is yours! We just ask for a commitment to attend a minimum of once a week to take care of it, and that you might help with the work of the community area at times.
Donate: We want to build a strong wooden fence and install a drip watering system in 2021, but we need funds. If you would like to help visit our donate page.
How to find the Garden
811 Hazen Street, Paw Paw
The Garden can be found on the grounds of the Van Buren ISD Community Transition Center.
It is on Private Property and permission is required to be on the grounds.
Directions: Driving down Hazen Street, go past the hospital. Take a left turn just before the Community Mental Health/ Michigan State Extension building. Drive past that building, past the field behind it. You will see the Tri-County Head Start building on your left. Go past that also. Just before the bend you will see on your right hand side a fenced in area, a shed and a "loop" drive, just in front of the CTC school Building. This is the Learning Garden.
In 2020, in the garden we grew 369lbs of fresh, organic produce for distribution through The Porch
Michelle's Passion for this garden lives on
Michelle Peaslee was a good friend and faithful servant to our community. She was involved with several local non-profit organizations including UCS. Michelle was passionate about helping people experiencing food insecurity, or facing crisis in their situations. She was good at offering a kind word, encouragement and finding them help.
There is no doubt that without her enthusiasm, perseverance, and sheer hard work this garden would not exist. She had a love of gardening, nature, animals and people. She especially loved butterflies and hummingbirds.
Sadly, Michelle lost her fight with cancer earlier this year, but we were able to tell her that we were naming the Garden after her. In her honor too we have planted a small area of flowers with a bench where one can sit and rest and watch the birds, butterflies and bees....