Nature’s Nursery is becoming a little greener with its new addition.
The wildlife refuge and conservation education center is jumping into action on its latest project, “A Greener Garden.” This garden will grow enough greens and eventually other produce to self-sustainingly feed the animals in the center’s care.
The center received a grant from the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania Foundation Donor Advised Fund of the Greater Toledo Community Foundation for $6,000 to truly dive into this project.
Nature’s Nursery specializes in animal care, so the staff of the center reached out to the Sofia Quintero art and cultural center team to design the beds. There are two raised beds with built-in benches that will make gardening safe.
Toledo GROWs, a community garden in the area, also collaborated with Nature’s Nursery on the project, helping to map out the locations of the beds, as well as help with soil.
Nature’s Nursery still has a new facility under construction, so the garden will begin in a smaller scale first. This garden will begin with the raised bed gardens and as time goes on, will add additional raised beds. Eventually, the goal is to have a full, in-ground garden by the end of 2023.
“Currently our staff and volunteers have to go on produce runs several times a week to keep up with the feeding demands of the animals and often we buy out local grocery stores” Allison Aey, Nature’s Nursery executive director, said. “So much gas is being used by our drivers in addition to the produce packaging waste. As a non-profit with produce costs on the rise, we anticipate a huge financial savings as well as reducing fuel and material waste.”
For the past 34 years, Nature’s Nursery has worked to give animals a better home and educate the public on the importance of conservation and the environment. At the peak of busy season, which typically runs from the start of spring through early fall, the center can go through a 45 gallon, yard work sized trash bag of greens every day.
“Just one bunny will eat two handfuls of greens daily and with over 900 bunnies coming through the doors each year, the greens get eaten quickly,” Aey said.
That is where the importance of self-sustaining gardening comes in. This will help the nursery’s mission of creating less waste and having more economically and environmentally friendly solutions within their own facilities.
Nature’s Nursery is always looking for volunteers. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer, reach out to the coordinator via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the new garden or Nature’s Nursery, reach out to Allison Aey via email at email@example.com or phone at 419-344-2988.