Over 150 visitors and neighbors of the Manos Community Garden, including special guests such as U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, donor of the garden space Manos Paschalis, and Executive Director of the Toledo Botanical Garden Karen Ranney-Wolkins, were present for the Garden Party for the Birds held on May 4, 2012. The Manos Community Garden was built with the intention of being a place for community neighbors to plant flowers and vegetables, feed and beautify the neighborhood, and create a place that is welcoming to birds, wildlife and people.
Community members worked on building 37 raised beds, filling an area with native “bird friendly” plants, installing bird baths, feeders and houses, building and installing a bat house, installing a squirrel feeder and creating and installing native bee hives. A rich habitat for birds and other wildlife has been created and is now a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat! A mosaic bird sculpture, created by Wild Connections, and wall murals painted by local artists make the garden an outstanding bright spot in the neighborhood. Official bird counts by Wild Connections Environmental Group will continue at the garden, as well as efforts to educate the public about the importance of urban birds.
The garden was officially dedicated to Manos Paschalis in honor of his great generosity in donating the land. After the dedication, attendees strolled through the garden, learned about conservation, ate baklava provided by Manos Restaurant and created birds to decorate the raised garden beds. Glass City Steel/Toledo School for the Arts students performed Jamaican music, making it difficult for most to stand still. It was a wonderful collaborative effort of community groups and neighbors from in the neighborhood and around Toledo.
Congratulations to the many community partners who made this successful garden and wildlife habitat possible: ToledoGROWs, Toledo Botanical Garden, Toledo Area Metroparks, Manos Restaurant, Wild Connections Environmental Group/Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, KAYTEE Pet Products Inc., Toledo School for the Arts, and The Andersons.