Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. 16-year-old microgrant recipient Amanda used her award to support the Rainwater Harvesting Garden in Prescott, AZ. Amanda’s school, Tri-City Prep, their Green Team environmental club, and other volunteers purchased architectural supplies & transformed a large, underutilized space into a garden and outdoor classroom/study area. Tri-City Prep’s biology, art & photography classes use the garden, and the space provides an outdoor area for general use.
- How many volunteers participated in your project? How many hours did it involve? 17 volunteers participated for a total of approximately 70 hours.
- What did you learn from this experience? In the future, I will definitely organize sooner and mobilize more people at the beginning of the project. I think I underestimated the time required for this project, leaving a very small group of dedicated volunteers who worked sometimes more than 10 hours a week during the last weeks of the project. Better organization and front-loading the work would have prevented this problem, and that’s a lesson I will carry into my future projects.
- How will your project continue having an impact in the future? The completed garden is now a spot for students to relax, have lunch, or work on homework. The Green Team environmental club has plans to label all plants in the garden with their common and scientific names, and the freshman biology teacher, Mrs. Muchna, uses the garden as part of a discussion on native and nonnative plants.
- Overall, summarize how your project was completed and how you think it went. Overall, the project went well; although the finished product was not exactly what I had envisioned, it had some improvements over my original design (e.g. using thin railroad ties instead of a fence, making the design more open). I definitely would have made some changes given more time, but I’ve left room for my successors in Green Team to expand the project. The rainwater barrel worked far better than I expected, filling to the brim with nearly every rainfall. I would call this project a success.
- How was the Karma for Cara microgrant helpful in the completion of your project? The microgrant simplified the project process immensely. Instead of spending our very limited time fundraising, we were able to dedicate more time to planning the garden. We were also able to buy several items we may not have been able to afford otherwise, like the rainwater barrel and the bench. This improved the project substantially and made a very daunting goal – to assemble the garden completely in a year – achievable.