Fronius USA, through their Helping Others & Providing Energy, or HOPE, program, spent two days working with the Portage Community Garden. The Fronius HOPE program is the leading manufacturer’s corporate social responsibility program, focusing on engaging staff in community involvement and volunteerism. Fronius employees spent their afternoons preparing the gardens, planting and beautifying the garden for its service season.
"We were really happy to discover the community garden in Portage to directly impact the community where our headquarters calls home,“ said Tiffany Bley, corporate affairs manager at Fronius USA. "It’s great to see our work and support bring food to those in need all summer long, and we will be back to volunteer in the Fall to help with harvest."
The Portage Community Garden started in 2012 and since then has grown to more than 60 raised private beds, which can be purchased for the season for $25 and supports the charitable side of the garden. It boasts a butterfly and pollinator garden, orchard and other produce available for picking year-round for those in need and harvested for food pantries as well.
"We grow flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables and donate our produce to existing local charitable organizations, such as the food banks,“ said Shane Patterson, board president. "We want people to have a beautiful place to gather, grow, learn and share. We use the garden to promote healthier life styles, education and help people see the benefits of gardening reaches the mind, body and soul, all while making Portage a better place to live."
The Portage Community Garden is located at 3151 Swanson Road and open to those in need at any time. Volunteers are always needed and accepted from 8:45 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Mondays throughout the growing and harvest season. To find out more or for regular information on their educational sessions and activities, visit their Facebook page.