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Using What You've Got to Bring More Green Into Your Life

With Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, we're celebrating by bringing a series of stories tying our park gardens into your daily life! To kick us off, we spoke with our Facilities Director, Justin, about some ways to use your resources creatively, both in your garden and in just bringing more green into your lifestyle.

Below, we've rounded up a host of tips and opportunities for things you can do with accessible materials and resources in a time when social distancing orders are encouraging us to stay home.

5 Tips For Bringing More Green Into Your Life:

1) Maximize the plants you already have

Out in the parks, we're used to working on a tight budget, and with limited resources for purchasing more plants during this time, our Facilities team gets creative with what we already have. One way to maximize your plants is by "propagating via division", or horticulture lingo for simply splitting your plants into multiples. If you have a space that needs filling in your garden, instead of purchasing new plants, you can take existing plants and split them by cutting a portion of the root mass off and replanting. This technique works with plants featuring multiple stems, such as Hostas, Mums, ornamental grasses, and many perennial flowers. Need a visual to get started? Check out the video below:

2) Use this time for projects to support a healthier garden

If you're itching to get started on your garden, but aren't quite ready to brave garden centers or home improvement stores, there are still projects you can do to set your greenspace up for success. Taking the time to set up and patch an irrigation system may be a project well worth the time in the era of social distancing. These are more efficient, sanitary, and dependable than hand watering or overhead sprinklers. The parks' irrigation system allows our horticulture to receive regular moisture when we aren’t getting rain. It’s programmable, so it works even if we aren’t there every day. There are simple systems available online or in stores, and we recommend investing in a basic, programmable timer. Other projects you can get started include setting up for composting, and using reclaimed materials for constructing new plant beds, trellises, birdbaths, and other features.

3) Build a community of support

Social distancing shouldn't mean social isolation! As more of us are looking for creative ways to use our time, to make connections, and to bring more green into our lives, this can be an opportunity to support or communities in special ways. One such way is to share plants with neighbors! You can maintain a safe social distance by coordinating a public space in your neighborhood for locals to swap plants, seeds, and garden equipment. No public space available? A phone tree, email chain, Facebook group, and more are all options to coordinate direct exchanges with your neighbors. Leave what you've got to share by the curb, on your fencepost, or in a spot in your yard, and let folks in your area know to swing by.

Don't have something to share but still want to support your community's green thumb? Now is a great time to buy seasonal, local food from area farms. Farmer's markets may be closed for the moment, but there are plenty of local farms that offer pick up and delivery! Check out this list of farm vendors offering online ordering from the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. Other North Carolina farm-fresh delivery services for the Greensboro area include, The Produce Box and Bella Bean Organics.

4) Get experimental with your scraps

Looking for a fun, science experiment for the kids (or hey! even just yourself)? Try your hand at kitchen scrap gardening! If you've already got fresh produce at home, either from your garden, local farms, or even just your grocery store, you may have some fruits and veggies that can regenerate themselves - with a little, tender love and care. Check out the infographic below and read more about some ways to get experimental with your kitchen scraps here:

5) Let it go and just get outside - no green thumb required

Getting elbows-deep in the dirt is not the only way to bring some green into your life. While we encourage folks to maintain their distance from one another during this time, as a parks organization, we also want you to just get your dose of green however you can. Spring is in full bloom, and our area parks, trails, and neighborhoods are greening up and inviting us outside. Go for a walk wherever you can, have a private picnic in the grass, and don't forget to stop and smell the roses - literally! Use this time to enjoy what's already out there in nature, and bring some green to your routine every day.

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