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Mary Laurel Patrick

Mary Laurel Patrick
Greenville Senior High Academy
Greenville, SC

Over the course of her senior year, Mary Laurel helped create the Juanita Butler Garden. Her goal was to have neighbors working together to maintain a sustainable garden. From the beginning, volunteers, friends, family, and some very curious neighborhood children worked together to build raised garden beds. Soon after the winter harvest was over she was approached about starting a gardening club at the Juanita Butler Center. She now meets once a week with neighborhood children teaching them about gardening, composting, and the benefits of fresh produce. Together they have begun building their own compost bin and clearing the gardens for spring planting. Thankfully this project is far from over; the garden has become an important part of the Juanita Butler Center and the Greater Sullivan Neighborhood as a whole. With the enthusiastic Gardening Club and excited parents and supervisors, the future of the Juanita Butler Garden is extremely promising. 

“Thank you Riley Institute and the Emerging Public Leaders program for encouraging me to make a difference in my community and finally bringing my vision for a community garden to reality.”