Rose Steinhart and the Accord Native Plant Community Garden Receive State Award!

posted Feb 8, 2009, 7:15 PM by Stephanie Hankerson
Further accolades came SE Como's way this Saturday February 7th, 2009 as Rose Steinhart was acknowledged for her Master Gardening and neighborhood volunteer efforts. The Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS) recognized Rose and the Accord Native Plant Community Garden by awarding the Community Garden Award -For excellence in community gardening.

MSHS gives this specific award to an organization, group or individual that has organized and implemented the most innovative and successful community greening project actively involving volunteers.  Congratulation to Rose, and all the members of the Accord Community Garden! 

If you want to know more about the Accord and how to become involved in this community garden email accordcommunitygarden (at) comcast.net .

Rose accepting her Award (center) alongside Rose Eggert, MSHS CEO, and Bobby Jensen of KARE 11 and Landscape Junction


Follows is from the nomination text:

Rose Steinhart has brought much need loving care and attention to the Accord Community Garden found within Minneapolis' Van Cleve Park.  Over the past few years, Rose has nurtured her passion for native plants and and chosen to share it with her neighborhood. Her efforts have brought interpretive signs, celebration events, volunteers and new hardscape to the garden.  She devotes much of her Master Gardening time to this location and regularly participates in community events and the Parade of Community Garden. At these events, she is on location with her tent, balloons, refreshments, and of course lots of information about native plants. 

Her personal interest is in medicinal, ethnobotanical and historical uses of plants.  For the  garden's volunteers, her knowledge in these areas makes for interesting sessions while tending the plants!

The garden itself was installed in 1998 as a gateway for Van Cleve Park in Minneapolis.  It contains a one-of-a-kind sound sculpture that is mechanised.  At certain intervals during the day, it makes low pipe organ type notes for visitors to hear.  The garden beds wrap around the central sculpture in crescents and include bench seating.  The plantings in have been converted to a mixture of Little Bluestem grasses and prairie flowers from the initial plantings of miniature roses and mum that did not survive. 

Rose has made the Accord Community Garden a sustainable nook of prairie and woodland plants.  The garden does not have a good water sources, so the use of drought tolerant native plants is partly out of need.  Rose continually tweaks the plant list so to match the site's sun, height and water conditions.  Undesirable foot and bike traffic and vandalism frequently throw Rose's plans off, but she recovers with new garden ideas .  With a donation from a local business, Hawkins Chemical,  Rose and her dad created a mobile water tank from a 50 gallon drum. 

Rose's specialty is celebrations in the garden!  She always finds ways to highlight these plantings at the neighborhood's Como Cookout- an event that attracts 800 neighbors to the park.  Whether its birthday cake, ice cream cones or  a festive set-up, folks cannot help themselves from stopping by!  During the Parade of Community Gardens, Rose take advantage of the the gardens prominent location at 15th and Ave Como Aves SE.  Bikers, walkers, bus-goers and cars all break for Rose's tent!  This really augments the participation in the Parade of Community Gardens in particular.  Many folks stumble onto her garden only to learn that there are other gardens on the Parade! This year, Rose worked with the Park, the Southeast Como neighborhood association and Norman Anderson, sculpture artist, to highlight the 10th year of the chime sculpture that resides in  the center of the garden.

In tending this corner gateway, Rose has nurtured not just the plants, but relationships with park staff, neighbors, park-goers, and sculpture artist-  all centered around this garden.  This corner gateway intersects with many people daily they walk, bike, bus and drive to campus, work or play at the park.   Her efforts to make this neighborhood jewel sustainable and beautiful are worthy of being awarded.
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