Drop Collaborative and KidsLikeUs team up to create ‘The Enchanted Garden’

Published 3:46 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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An enchanted garden is being created. 
Two local nonprofits, the Drop Collaborative and KidsLikeUS, have teamed up to create what is known as, “The Enchanted Garden.” This garden aims to serve those with special needs and the elderly in the community, serving as a host for classes, workshops, events, etc. Harvest from this garden will be donated back to the community. 
According to Lisa Lyons, with KidsLikeUs, the garden is beneficial for the community, and is a great way for people to get involved. 
There are several ways to be a part of this Enchanted Garden, from volunteering, getting credits for college, sponsoring or participating in the “Paint the Pathway” Project. 
Whether through a group or individual, people can paint a 16×16 paver (these cost $4 each) that will be part of the walkway. This is helpful in earning community service credit hours for the Tennessee Promise.
On the weekend of Oct. 24-25, there will be a “Day on the Farm,” which will serve as a soft opening for their fall festival. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed. Among showing kids how to garden (10 slots are available per session), there will also be activities, etc. 
“With COVID-19, things have been so hard on everybody, especially on special needs kids who are structured,” said Lyons. “…as is it with the elderly who have maybe been confined to their nursing homes with family not being able to visit.”
According to Lyons, the name for the garden is also very special. 
“My son is on the autism spectrum,” she began. “I drew the garden out on a piece of paper a couple of years ago. My son doesn’t speak a whole lot. He can but doesn’t. I asked him what we were going to name the garden, and he sat there and looked at me. I got up from the table, and when I came back, he had written Enchanted across it.”
The garden is expected to be magical, and serve as a healing place. The ultimate design for the garden also includes social distancing.
The garden’s design is detailed on the Drop Collaborative website. Sponsors and volunteers are welcome, and community outreach is another major goal with this work. 
A second location for KidsLIkeUs is also opening in Kingsport with a garden as well. 
For more information on volunteering, sponsoring, and the garden itself, go to www.dropcollaborative.com/klu. For more information on the “Paint the Pathway” initiative, go to www.dropcollaborative.com/pathway. 

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