In 2010, the Rock Island Urban Farms group planted 2 public gardens in Rock Island to help the communities surrounding them. Brian McMaster, an elder of Broadway Presbyterian Church, was a founding member of this group and continues to play an active role in keeping these gardens growing. The gardens were created to help refugees, who moved into the area, grow fruits and vegetables of their native country. This was just the right “seed to be planted” to show others the possibility and benefits of growing your own produce. These gardens also help those in the community who might not have the income or resources to buy fresh produce.
The Two Rivers YMCA became involved with the gardens through the Be Healthy QC / Activate Rock Island project and added a 3rd garden on the property of their Spirit, Mind, & Body Center just north-west of their main Y facility in Moline. Today, all three gardens continue to grow and provide nutritious produce to the community, valuable hands-on education, and volunteering opportunities. The Y’s Youth Leadership Academy volunteers time to tend to these gardens and have created recipes using ingredients they’ve harvested. A youth group from Wisconsin also enjoys taking care of the gardens as a part of their summer missionary project.
If you or a group you know would benefit from the produce, the space to sow seeds, or would like to volunteer by tending to the gardens below is more information.
Community Garden Locations
Corner of 6th Avenue and 7th Street, Rock Island.
One block west of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.
Corner of 7th Avenue and 28th Street, Rock Island
1811 53rd St, Moline
North side of the Spirit, Mind, & Body Center
Open daily to the public from dawn to dusk. (No admittance after dark)
Harvest only what you need, saving some for others, and only when it’s ready to be harvested.
Mondays from 9am to Noon, Brian McMaster can provide tools, guidance on how to identify weeds to be pulled and knowledge on which plants work together and grow well together. Contact Rose Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate.
The Y can provide sign-in sheets to track volunteer hours and provide a volunteer certificate at the end of the season. Contact Rose Rivera at email@example.com to set this up.