09 Dec Bathtubs Find New Life at Ferncliff
DONATION: THE HOME DEPOT BATHTUBS AND CONSTRUCTION FIXTURES
LIVES IMPACTED: 1,200
Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center is a Little Rock, AR based camp and retreat facility that creates positive change in the world by opening eyes, minds, and hearts to God’s transforming love. We offer an array of summer camps for over 1,200 youth per summer and a variety of lodging options for adults from retreat houses to cabins. A wide variety of local, regional, and national church and nonprofit groups use Ferncliff for their meetings, workshops, conferences, and retreats.
We received a donation of bathtubs from The Home Depot and were able to give them new life around our camp. A few were furnished with pillows and cushions to become reading nooks but most of the tubs made it outside. Volunteers constructed wooden frames to support each bathtub about a foot off the ground so that they could become raised beds. The Garden of Reuse is a place where discarded and unconventional items grow new life in raised beds for plants. The donated bathtubs were perfect for this! In the summer months, campers visit the garden to pick vegetables and herbs, taking a sampling to the dining hall salad bar. This season, the Ferncliff dining hall has been able to serve entire dishes with produce grown on site during the summer and fall gardening seasons. Signs let visitors know which produce is grown in the Garden of Reuse. The last two remaining bathtubs have been outfitted with wooden stands to be taken to a brand new school garden in Little Rock as some of their first raised beds.
Campers and visitors, especially those who do not have a garden of their own, can witness a place where things are not wasted unnecessarily. Food is grown and eaten on site, tended and picked by the individuals who get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Volunteers and employees work in the Garden of Reuse daily, eat the produce, and donate remaining produce to local food pantries. Any food scraps at Ferncliff are composted with animal manure so that the cycle of no waste can continue. Children and teenagers often forget the original source of their food, so our Garden of Reuse offers a creative way for them to get their hands dirty. The bathtubs and other recycled materials demonstrate that people can use what they’ve got and make things work with a little bit of creativity. One Ferncliff volunteer said, “One particularly memorable day was when a school group visited and one student was so passionate about digging sweet potatoes out of a bathtub. She asked how she could garden more often and what other unconventional items we wanted to use. It was so moving to hear her express so much interest in taking care of the Earth.”
We were also lucky enough to receive some construction fixtures from The Home Depot. These doors, windows, and light fixtures led to the creative design of the Ferncliff arts and crafts building, dubbed “The Q”. The building plan was carried out using materials received from Home Depot so that the construction costs could be as low as possible. The wooden supports of the structure were built on site by a group of volunteers. The Q is currently one of the newer buildings at Ferncliff and offers campers a creative space to build and make things. It is a safe space for children and adults alike to make a mess as they create stepping stones, friendship bracelets, key chains, tie dye, or anything else they feel inspired to make.
The donation of windows and doors made building a new arts and crafts building possible. Previously, campers and crafters used outdoor picnic tables as a space for arts and crafts. Now The Q offers an indoor space where creativity can flourish even in the hot summer months. One of the campers said, “The Q is great! I really love the glitter and sequins sealed into the floor. It makes me feel like I can make a mess and be creative. All of the supplies and bins are fair game for crafts so we can make anything we want. I like using the recycled floor tiles to make mosaic stepping stones.” Thank you so much to The Home Depot. Because of you and Good360, we are able to provide so much for our campers and visitors.
Congratulations to Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center for winning our Thankful Thursday Storytelling Contest for this impact story! Ferncliff will receive a prize bundle consisting of $1,000 worth of toys.