Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

SCC Community Garden and Orchard

SCC Community Garden and Orchard
By Cassandra Graikowski, Cultural Activities Coordinator

In the Summer of 2021, the Tribal Council gave the Cultural Committee access to the Hoffman property at 10290 Sand Lake Road. Efforts to clean up the multiple buildings and the grounds began immediately, with help from the Casino who donated a dumpster and security cameras.

For months, volunteers from the Cultural Committee cleared debris in order for the buildings to be accessible. All that could be salvaged will be refurbished to be used by the Cultural Committee for future events. Our focus last year was mainly clean up, outreach and planning.

This year, our initial plan is to turn the property into an area for teaching youth about gardening, food sustainability, harvesting maple sugar, and to hold seasonal camps.

After a community survey conducted at the end of 2021, we found interest in adding community garden spaces, an orchard, improve the walking trail, and to hold more community events in the area.

With access to instructors through the ACE grant, and equipment and supplies purchased through the GLITC VRNA program, we were able to start implementing our plans this summer.

GLITC VRNA bought a large variety of seeds, 80 saplings (40 apple and 40 plum), and all the tools we could possibly ask for! Elders have assisted us almost every day, providing instruction and helping us take care of the seedlings.

We welcomed 11 Summer Youth workers, who were able to get their hands dirty by starting the orchard and tilling the land for the first garden.

We are grateful for the many Community members who helped, and we look forward to having more Tribal and Community Members come out and see the work being done – and claim a garden space of their own. We always welcome suggestions, comments and productive input.

The community garden and orchard was made possible through the combined efforts of ACE, GLITC VRNA, the Sokaogon Cultural Committee, the Summer Youth Workers Program, and from all the feedback we received from our Community Members.

Teens: Armando Aguirre, Alex Aguirre, Jayden Quade, Derek Olds, Konner Quade, Darius Polar, Trevor Cable, Annika Tuchalski, Kelly Jones, Elliot Amundson, Logan Munday, Zach Randall, Marshall Polar, Bella Toyebo, Summer Poler, Sylvester G Poler.

Adults: Nancy Kane, Virginia Poler, Carmen McGeshick, Chris Quade, Jay Jameson, Ryan Randall, Tesheena Honkala, Dan McConnell, Krystal Poler, Tina B VanZile, Yvette McGeshick, Nicole McGeshick, Anna Roberts, Wayne LaBine, Terica McConnell, Jeff McGeshick, Marisa VanZile, Melissa VanZile, Kenneth VanZile, Wendy Quade, Bryan Tate.