Turning A Parking Lot Into a Garden - The Bay State CCFP Garden Experiment

In mid-April I was checking my Facebook feed and I saw a post about turning a rundown dirt spot in a parking lot into a garden.  I was instantly intrigued and found that it was a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsor in Massachusetts, Bay State Child Care Food Program, Inc. to be exact.

It was an ugly little plot of land, I must say, and turning it into a garden seemed quite ambitious.  I kept an eye out for the progress via Facebook posts.  Low and behold one month later they had sprouts and six weeks later, a beautiful little garden in the place of a rundown circle of dirt in the middle of the parking lot.  You can see the pictures above of the before and after.  

Bay State's garden project brings to mind this quote from the Little Engine that Could, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.”  The Bay State team thought they might be able to transform this space on their property into something beautiful and sustainable.  It looks like a success to me, Bay State! Thanks for being our Little Guerilla Gardening Engine that Could!

Bay State shared with us their inspiration:
"We started our parking lot garden after being inspired at the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington D.C. this year and also after watching Rob Finley's TED talk on guerilla gardening. We decided to be the example for our providers and start a garden here at work."

Did Bay State get special funding for this project?  No, but...
"The staff is donating materials and their time. Seed packets are so inexpensive."

What is Bay State hoping to yield from this driveway garden? 
We really are not sure if this will be a success or just a crazy experiment! Seed packets are so inexpensive and hopefully will yield a bounty of fruits and vegetables.

Taking it one step further!
Burpee Seed company did donate a box full of seeds for our providers, so we put together a little Gardening with Bay State Kids Booklet along with the seeds to help them get started on their own daycare gardens.

Follow The Garden's Progress!
Be sure to Like Bay State Child Care Food Program, Inc. on Facebook so you can follow the driveway garden progress.  I, for one, can't wait to see the fruits and veggies grow!  They also post wonderful resource suggestions about the food program and more food growing ideas such as growing romaine lettuce in a water glass.

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Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.