The new ergonomic, wheelchair accessible planters that features zucchini, tomatoes, beets, beans, a wide variety of peppers and cantaloupes that was funded by the Tama County Foundation. Photo by Cyote Williams
The four tier herb garden that was funded by the Tama County Foundation. Photo by Cyote Williams
One of the flowerbeds sporting bright and vibrant colors that resides in the backyard of Sunny Hill. Photo by Cyote Williams
Sunny Hill activities director Mary Jo in front of all the new planters, flowerbeds, four tier herb garden with both apple trees in the background in the backyard of the care center. Photo by Cyote Williams
Sunny Hill Care Center has taken advantage of the summer weather and a grant provided to them by the Tama County Foundation for over four thousand dollars.
Because Sunny Hill isn’t allowed to directly accept grants, they had to go through a payee which ended up being the ISU extension outreach office; without their help this would not have been a possibility.
Sunny Hill activities director Mary Jo wanted to thank Cheryl Bruene for her help in getting this grant money into this project.
Mary Jo has been focused on taking her job title and using it to the fullest by finding ways to keep residents at Sunny Hill active. Her latest project de ella is a three year plan that will use this grant money to provide Sunny Hill residents a reason to get outside and give them an opportunity to provide something to the community.
The care center is now part of the Grow a Row program that was set up by the extension office.
All of the planting has been done by residents at Sunny Hill thanks to the ergonomic gardening tools and wheelchair accessible planters, these measures were taken to ensure that nobody gets left out.
A wide array of plants has found their way into the backyard at the Care Center, including zucchini, tomatoes, beets, beans, a wide variety of peppers, cantaloupe, flowerbeds, and a four tier herb garden.
In an attempt to help assist Sunny Hill with the upkeep, Jennifer Kucera from the ISU extension office helps as the master gardener. While many of the residents grew up farming and gardening and have their own experience, this is another way that the extension office is helping the care center.
Once the plants are ready to be harvested they will have many uses. Sunny Hill plans to use them in their facility for activities, as well as selling them at the Toledo farmers market with the funds going to the ISU extension office. Additionally the fruits and vegetables harvested will go to the local food pantry.
Along with these vegetables, fruits and herbs, the money from the grant was able to help clean up some leftover damage done by the right.
This included taking down two evergreen trees and two ash trees which were replaced by two plum trees that the residents at Sunny Hill voted to have in their place. There are also two apple trees that haven’t previously been taken care of that will now be properly maintained, giving the residents the ability to make a wide range of apple dishes.
This is all part of a three plan by Mary Jo in an attempt to rejuvenate the backyard at the care center, and further perpetuates the ideology she has for Sunny Hill which is, “we didn’t come here to die, we came here to live.”
In the coming years Mary Jo plans to invest in a new fence, remove the dirt pile left from the one the trees that was removed due to right damage and add in a gnome village with a neighboring troll village.
It is very clear that the Sunny Hill Care Center is doing everything they can to provide its residents with the best possible experience during their stay.
These improvements will have a positive effect on those who spend their time at Sunny Hill, allowing them an opportunity to get outside in the fresh air and provide fresh produce to those in need in the community.