A group of volunteers pose for a photo after a previous cleanup of the Eastpointe Community Garden.

A group of volunteers pose for a photo after a previous cleanup of the Eastpointe Community Garden.

Photo provided by John Hofmann

Eastpointe Community Garden seeking volunteers for spring cleanup

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 7, 2023


EASTPOINTE — For William Randazzo, maintaining the Eastpointe Community Garden is about more than just planting and growing things; it’s about increasing food sustainability and helping others learn to grow fruits and vegetables.

“Most of the things we are taught aren’t how to take care of each other or ourselves,” he said in an email. “I’m just trying to change a small piece of my world.”

In its 11 seasons, the garden has seen numerous improvements, such as the replacement of the original 32 wooden gardening boxes with 24 metal beds that can be rented by community members, and a number of “giving garden” beds, which are beds that can be sponsored by people or businesses that offer food for others to take.

Last year, the gardeners grew around 650 pounds of food, Randazzo said, of which 450 pounds were grown on-site and another 200 pounds were donated from a co-gardener’s apple tree.

“Successfully growing over our goal for what we wanted pound-wise excited us to build bigger, grow more and help more of the community with as much food as we can grow,” he said.

This year, Randazzo and several others who help maintain and run the garden have a number of improvements planned. They’re looking to add 20 new “giving garden” beds, which will require the ground to be leveled before fill dirt can be added and a watering system can be installed.

All of this, Randazzo said, will help the gardeners reach their goal of growing 600 pounds of food on-site, although he thinks they could easily grow closer to 1,000 pounds.

“We have a strong group of amazing volunteers who do this for the love of nature and helping others,” Randazzo said.

But they can’t do it alone.

On Saturday, April 15, the keepers of the garden are seeking volunteers for a cleanup event at the garden, located at 16425 E. Nine Mile Road in Eastpointe. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and will run until 2 p.m., and according to a Facebook event post, most tools will be provided. Attendees are asked to wear work clothes, waterproof boots or shoes, and to bring their own gloves.

“This event is always a blast and we accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. We always have a lot of new residents and families come out,” said John Hofmann, who serves on the garden’s committee.