A vision that began at a local Starbucks was realized as the Trotter Family YMCA officially dedicated Shannon’s Garden Friday, May 30 in front of a crowd of donors, supporters, and volunteers. The garden’s namesake, Shannon Wallace, was on hand for the ceremonial vine-cutting event that marked the official completion of the project.
“The dedication of the garden was one of the most thrilling and rewarding events of my life,” Shannon said. “The realization of the garden far exceeded my expectations! We are so happy to be a part of something that has the capacity to touch so many lives.”
Shannon has long had a love for the Y and it was her affection for the organization, along with her passion for gardening that prompted her husband Mark Wallace to fund the initial donation for the garden. The donation, gifted in honor of Shannon as a Christmas present, was Mark’s way of bringing two of his wife’s passions together for the betterment of the community this garden serves.
“The inspiration truly comes from Shannon telling me to get more involved with the YMCA,” Mark said. “After I approached (the Trotter Family YMCA) with my intention to honor Shannon they mentioned five ideas. The fifth was a holistic garden and I said ‘This is it!’”
Groundbreaking for Shannon’s Garden occurred in March 2013 and it wasn’t long before the Trotter Family YMCA began utilizing their new resource. In April 2013 the first seeds were planted and two months later the garden saw its first harvest. In July 2013 June’s Cottage was dedicated in honor of long-time YMCA supporter June Tellepsen.
Last September the Y began running educational workshops, free of charge, to its members and Mayor Anise Parker awarded the Trotter Family YMCA a Proud Partner Award through the Keep Houston Beautiful organization in honor of the work done in Shannon’s Garden.
“We’ve been so blessed to see this garden become a reality,” said Dawn Dunn, Trotter Family YMCA Associate Center Executive. “I look forward to watching as this garden continues to serve the community for years to come.”
It’s been 14 months since the groundbreaking. This summer the Y will begin implementing Seed-to-Plate classes in the newly constructed children’s garden to go along with their ongoing workshops, seminars and active older adults programming.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Shannon’s Garden, stop by the Trotter Family YMCA Welcome Center or call 713-781-1061. Community gardens are also located at the D. Bradley McWilliams Family YMCA, T.W. Davis Family YMCA and Vic Coppinger Family YMCA.