Sixth Annual Raising Richland Community Garden Summit - another great event for gardeners!


North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC), in conjunction with area partners, hosted in the Sixth Annual Raising Richland Community Garden Summit at Mansfield's Longview Center on Thursday, March 10.

A joint effort between NECIC, BeeOlogy, Richland Area Beekeepers Association, Creating Healthy Communities Project of Richland Publich Health, Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, OSU Extension of Richland County, Richland County Master Gardeners, and Richland Soil and Water Conservation District brought about another successful event, attended by many.


It's a full house for the annual Raising Richland Community Garden Summit.


“This event is to showcase the many gardening assets, as well as gardening as a whole. Gardening not only has us eat healthier and get more outdoor activity, but it allows us to connect with our neighbors as well as beautify a space,” said NECIC Community Garden and Local Foods Program Coordinator Jean Taddie.

Speakers for the evening included Jim Chatfield, Maggie Rupp, and Dave Duncan.

Chatfield, an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist at OSU’s Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, was the evening’s first speaker with Why Won’t It Grow?  Chatfield spent the bulk of the evening addressing questions from the audience, solving gardening problems and expanding the knowledge of those present.


Jim Chatfield answers gardening questions from the crowd at the 

Raising Richland Community Garden Summit in Mansfield March 10.

Rupp, an organic farmer that proudly grows and preserves much of her family’s food, followed with Garden to Table. She explained putting up her own produce, as well as the reasons to grow your own food.


Maggie Rupp explains growing her own food at the Raising Richland Community Garden Summit.

Duncan, a beekeeper for over 30 years as well as a licensed pest control specialist, spoke on Protecting Your Pollinators. Duncan not only addressed questions from the audience, but explained the best methods for controlling pests in the garden without using sprays that may endanger pollinators or humans.

“Just because it’s a natural product doesn’t mean it’s not harmful to humans,” Duncan explained.


Dave Duncan talks pollinators with the crowd at the Raising Richland Community Garden Summit.

Between speakers, attendees visited exhibits and excitedly checked their tickets as door prizes were given away. Prize donors and exhibitors included:  Alta Greenhouse, Community Gardens in the Raising Richland Network, Creating Healthy Communities Project, Flora-Quest, Friends of the Mansfield Parks, Gorman Nature Center, Home Depot, Kingwood Center, Mansfield/Richland County Public Library, NECIC, OSU Extension/Richland County 4-H, Richland Area Beekeepers Association and BeeOlogy, Richland County Master Gardener Volunteers, and Richland Soil and Water Conservation District.


Richland Soil and Water Conservation District was one of many

exhibitors during the summit.


While the adults learned more about gardening upstairs, children gathered downstairs for a summit of their very own - Cultivating Kids.

A visit from Jason Larson of Gorman Nature Center included some interesting wildlife friends, which garnered full attention from all the children.


Jason Larson of Gorman Nature Center brings a few friends to the event.

 Darla Komora of the Richland Area Beekeepers Association spoke to the children about bees.

“Who’s the boss of the bees?” asked Komora.

“The queen bee!” exclaimed one young lady in the crowd. “Girls rock!”


Darla Komora discusses pollinators sand plants with children at the summit.

Judy Villard of OSU Extension and Doug Schuster of Kingwood Center rounded out the evening with discussions of soil and ladybugs. Live ladybugs were examined in detail by the children, and a delicious snack of layered puddings, cookies, and gummy worms gave the children an example of soil layers.

The event is one looked forward to by area gardeners and residents.

“I look forward to it every year. I think it is great for the community, to see people coming together, and it kind of gives you that feeling that spring is in the air. If we’re having Raising Richland, spring is here,” said NECIC Executive Director Michael Howard.


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