Many Hands Make Light Work

Before-shot of garden

Before-shot of garden

Greater Impact project at Becoming Independent readies gardens for spring.

Over two sunny Saturdays in January, work groups from Impact100 Sonoma, the Kiwanis, and the staff and board of community grant recipient Becoming Independent rolled up their sleeves — quite literally — to enhance a small garden area at 355 West Napa Street and prepare it for spring planting.


“The garden project is the perfect complement to the healthy living class that is funded by our Impact100 Community Grant,” said Lea Ronald, director of services at Becoming Independent, which supports Sonoma Valley people with disabilities.  “We look forward not only to growing the fruits and vegetables that will become part of our cooking curriculum, but also to using the garden as an inspiration for art classes and other activities.”

IMG_4568 IMG_4566 Originally conceived by Impact members Constance Grizzell, Louise Massie and Judith Walsh, along with Becoming Independent chair Darren Blonski, what started as a simple project to clear the garden and prepare it for the spring turned into so much more as others in the community got involved.  Kiwanis members volunteered to help with work days; and with wood donated by Golden State Lumber, corners for the raised beds donated by Judith and soil donated by Louise, four beds were built and a compost bin was installed.  Meals on Wheels now drops off food scraps for composting, and students at Becoming Independent’s art classes are designing plant markers to identify the coming harvest of fruit, vegetables, and flowers.  A mural project by local artist Gretchen Gardner will complete what is becoming an idyllic setting.










“This Greater Impact project was a true community effort,” said Judith Walsh.  “We are grateful to Impact members as well as the Kiwanis, and the staff and board of Becoming Independent for coming together to create what is going to be a beautiful and nurturing space in our community.”


Text provided by Impact100 Member, Lisa Lilienthal
Photos provided by Lea Ronald