It was a perfect sunny and cool October morning as we gathered with fellow green industry professionals at Mendakota Park in Mendota Heights for a friendly kickball tournament fundraiser. Home Sown Gardens hosted this tournament as the inaugural event of a long-discussed desire to foster connections within our industry in a casual and fun environment while raising funds for a great cause! It isn't often that we can get together with our fellow green industry pros to connect and have fun together, and this was the perfect day to do it.
Our fearless Cruise Director/Event Coordinator Angie organized this event with the help of many of our team to ensure it was a fun, family-friendly event. There were snacks and beverages available by donation, and we all enjoyed a delicious halftime potluck with tasty dishes brought by everyone. In addition to kickball, lawn games were set up for playing between games.
We welcomed more than 50 participants representing 7 different companies and organizations within the green industry, including other professional gardeners, landscapers, and even a representative from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association! Teams were made up of a mix of entire companies and individual participants, creating a wonderful community-building atmosphere. The champions of the day were Mangold Horticulture who won out in a tight match with Living Spaces Landscapes! Mangold took home the coveted First Place Workpants which were customized for the event by our own crafty Katie!
We raised funds for the great folks at Urban Roots, a local non-profit that brings youth empowerment to the East side of Saint Paul through urban agriculture, environmental work, and culinary skills.
Sara, the Development and Events Manager at Urban Roots, shared with us about the work the organization is doing to employ youth in engaging and meaningful work that contributes not just to their communities but also to their personal development. Urban Roots has experienced tremendous response to their programming and this year has more youth interns than ever before! Funds raised by our event and others are helping to supplement funding from the City of Saint Paul so that Urban Roots can take on every interested young person who wants to participate.
Many thanks to this year's participants for bringing their A-game to the playing field, generosity to the fundraising, and tasty dishes for the potluck! A huge thanks too to our volunteer umpires who kept the games rolling and the balls flying for hours of fun! We can't wait for this to become an annual tradition!