Green, Playing, Growing! Let’s learn how board member Tim Ellsworth relates to the Imagine Grinnell tagline.
I moved to Grinnell 6 years ago to start a new family with my sweetheart, Laura Ferguson. After years of soccer games, plays, dance recitals, and paying bills, I wanted to contribute something more to my community and Imagine Grinnell seemed a good fit.
First up was helping cobble together some plywood skateboard/BMX ramps to kick off a fundraising effort that brought a new permanent state-of-the art concrete SkatePark at Bailey Park in just 3 years! I was impressed with the collaboration between diverse groups of people, businesses, city planners and Grinnell College. With similar projects taking 10 years or more, our new SkatePark Project grew quickly and will remain another good reason for young families to stay and grow in Grinnell for years to come.
Taking Playing to heart, we started our annual Prairie Burn 100 Gravel Ride and MusicFest in June 2019. Designed to showcase our new Central Park makeover, miles of beautiful gravel roads, and Grinnell’s wonderful hospitality, the Prairie Burn 100 drew 161 bike riders from 8 states and 2 countries! For this year’s June 5 & 6 event we’re expanding food, music and Fun activities and shooting for 500 riders. Grinnell has a lot to talk about and share. We hope to expand this annual fundraising ride to a large regional draw with thousands of riders attending.
And while a fun bike event is good for me, good for Grinnell and good for Imagine Grinnell, we want to use the Prairie Burn 100 as a teaching opportunity for what is Green and Sustainable. What a great opportunity to show ways to reduce, recycle and re-use! How we deal with food, waste, paper, and plastic on a large event scale can be a great example for how we process our trash and update our consumption habits at home.
Though I’m not a gardener, IG’s commitment to Growing has opened my eyes to how we deal with food and waste. Addressing some food insecurity and food desert issues, our Giving Gardens expanded to include Ahrens Park and Marvin Gardens. Volunteer staffed, this city-wide network of gardens provide free fresh veggies and fruit for anyone in the neighborhood. Personally, the gardens sparked an interest in Composting, which I’ve come to believe is a strong answer to our city’s ongoing waste removal/Landfill/recycling problems.
Green, Playing, Growing. We all have some Time, Talent, and Treasure. We all have something to contribute, and I’m glad for Imagine Grinnell.