The culture at VEJ is very welcoming and the site itself is a very open space that invites people into the garden. My supervisor and the executive director of VEJ are both parents and bring their children to Hope House. Several kids from down the street always come down to the garden to help out or just hang around the house and play together. Our elderly neighbor often visits to chat for 5 minutes then heads on his way. This week, we’ve been hosting two youth volunteer groups that have kids from middle school and high school. The garden culture has been build to be all inclusive regardless of age, race, or religion. And that is very evident in the people that go through the garden in just a day. It’s a learning space, a safe space, and a space to reconnect with nature that is meant for the community so that anyone walking by on the street or at the park across from Hope House can see the garden and engage with it if they want to. Because of this, it’s been really easy to become comfortable at VEJ and take ownership of the work I put in there. There’s a lot of people who contribute to the garden, whether it be lending time, tools, labor, etc. and it’s been really awesome to see people from across different generations all working towards the same goal: to better our planet.