A large portion of the Southfield Parks and Garden Club’s work is done at the Emmanuel Community Farms. The club works with the farm to provide fresh produce for families in need in southeast Michigan.

A large portion of the Southfield Parks and Garden Club’s work is done at the Emmanuel Community Farms. The club works with the farm to provide fresh produce for families in need in southeast Michigan.

Photo provided by Robert Kushler


Southfield Parks and Garden Club seeks new members and donations

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published March 12, 2021

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SOUTHFIELD — If one thing has become obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that outdoor activity is important.

But going to the park and taking a walk outside can only do so much. That’s where the Southfield Parks and Garden Club saves the day.

The Parks and Garden Club is a nonprofit organization whose basic goal is to serve the community as best they can with regard to the environment. Club President Pat McLamore said they started off dealing with tasks such as helping elderly who can’t get outside and do yardwork.

The club was formed in February 2005 by founder Jon Adams. The club consists of volunteers primarily from the Southfield area. It has grown since ’05 and performs tasks that include canvassing the city parks to clean up litter and make sure they’re clean. There’s also an annual garden walk for which the club picks a designated area in Southfield where residents can showcase the work they’ve done to their gardens. Club members walk throughout the neighborhoods to appreciate the hard work.

Perhaps the largest operation conducted within the club is the work they do at the Emmanuel Community Farm, a charitable, all-volunteer project to help feed people in southeast Michigan.

“Two-thirds to 80% of our expenditures revolve around the Emmanuel Community Farm,” said Club Treasurer Robert Kushler. “For the last three years we’ve produced roughly 2,500 pounds of produce, which is all donated. We have volunteer labor and donated produce, but there’s expenses to get the mulch, compost, seeds, plants, irrigation equipment and things like that.”

Kushler said many of the donations collected for the Parks and Garden Club come from workers on the farm, but donations from residents are encouraged and will always be accepted. Those interested in donating can send a check made out to the Southfield Parks and Garden Club to 24228 Edgemont Drive, Southfield, MI 48033.

Those interested in volunteering are also welcome to do so. The club holds virtual meetings the first Tuesday of each month. Interested parties should email sfldpgclub@gmail.com for a Zoom link to the meeting.

“I truly believe that the more we can get involved with helping other people and helping with the environment, there’s a lot of little things that each individual can do,” McLamore said. “Knowing that there are so many people out there who need food, if there’s any way we can help people by growing food and giving it to people, we should do it. The more people we have to help, the more you can get done.”

The Parks and Garden Club plans to contribute to the renovation project at the historic Mary Thompson House. McLamore said the club lucked out and stumbled upon a list of seeds Thompson ordered from a company in Chicago. Their plan is to use a plot of land to create a vegetable garden and grow the same non-GMO, nonhybrid vegetables that she may have grown when she was alive.

The club hopes to continue to give back to the community by making the project educational and allowing kids and adults to learn about how to tend to a vegetable garden.

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