By: Sarah Mitschke | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2007
As the new greenhouse programs director, Julia Robinson helps a student at A New Leaf learn about horticulture.
The arrival of spring brings A New Leaf’s Seventh Annual Gardenfest and Craft Fair to Broken Arrow. From 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, the event will have for sale plants from the organization’s own greenhouse, as well as tomatoes, herbs, bedding plants, garden tools, crafts and other gardening supplies from individual vendors. Mark your calendars now for Gardenfest and Craft Fair.
A New Leaf, a nonprofit agency, helps to improve the quality of life for adults with developmental disabilities. Staff members train the individuals to work in a horticulture environment and give them the independence they need. Skills that can be marketable to the community are developed throughout the program to benefit each student in future jobs.
Gardenfest is A New Leaf’s largest fundraiser every year to help the organization continue its mission of helping adults with developmental disabilities, such as mental retardation and Down’s syndrome. Plants that will be sold at Gardenfest have been grown with love and care by A New Leaf’s students.
A New Leaf’s recent addition of Julia Robinson as the new greenhouse programs director has been greatly helpful to both the organization and its students. Joining the staff in November 2006, Julia has had a tremendous impact on working with students and developing the greenhouse in preparation for this year’s Gardenfest. Julia says, “This experience has been wonderful. It has been a blessing to teach clients here in the greenhouse.”
Julia is no stranger to horticulture, as she was birthed into it. She says, “My family is a long line of gardeners.” Although this will be her first Gardenfest, her love of gardening and over 30 years of experience make her well-prepared for it. Kim Falcon, executive director, says, “We needed an expert grower; not just someone who knew plants.” Named Oklahoma Grower of the Year in 1997 by the Oklahoma Greenhouse Association, Julia has been a perfect fit at A New Leaf and will continue to help the organization improve the lives of its students.
Gardenfest will be enjoyable for those with the greenest of thumbs to the least experienced gardeners. Held at A New Leaf’s greenhouse at 2306 S. 1st Pl., one block east of Main Street and between 91st and 101st, the event will have delicious food from McAllister’s Deli in the Garden Café. Master gardeners, including those from programs at Oklahoma State University, will be on hand to answer any gardening questions. A silent auction of gift baskets will be held during the day, as well.
There is still time to register for a booth at Gardenfest. Call A New Leaf at (918) 451-1491 or visit the organization online at www.anewleaf.org for more information and valuable discounts and coupons to be redeemed at Gardenfest.