HomeBlog HomeNew: Bringing Synergy To Stillwater

New: Bringing Synergy To Stillwater

How River Market helped three high school students build a new garden from scratch

River Market Community Co-op is a product of support from their community. With an aim to return that generous support, we are proud to contribute a small part toward an ambitious, visionary project, Synergy Gardens. 

The Synergy Gardens team is a group of 3, recently graduated seniors from Stillwater Area High School, who met during their freshman year through a mutual mentor, Julie Belfanz. The group discovered that they all had a drive for sustainability and a dream of getting involved in a passion project for our community.  In cooperation with the high school and over several years, we crafted a vision of the Synergy Gardens. The students wanted to set up a garden that also had local contacts and a system that could continue to grow and expand beyond the initial group, and keep giving to the community for many years.   

In 2022, the students of Synergy were able to make this vision come to life.  After outreach efforts and some setbacks, they built, from scratch, 4 raised bed gardens in the Fields of St. Croix with support from local organizers and neighbors. With donations from River Market Community Co-op and Buberl Black Dirt, the students were able to construct this garden and planted several varieties of perennial vegetables. As a result, they were able to donate over 70 pounds of vegetables to Valley Outreach. Along with the gardens, the students also completed a detailed “How to Guide” which were printed and distributed among 50 Stillwater area Little Libraries in hopes that other young students and families can start similar community gardens of their own.  

This year, we have found several new high school students interested in keeping this project alive and always welcome new volunteers. We hope to not only continue giving to the community through the garden we built, but also expand this passion project alongside our community partners and student volunteers into the future.   

The founding 3 Stillwater graduates are: Gabriella Briggs, Jocelyn McBride and Ava Roots.  If anyone would like to get involved, please contact Gabriella Briggs