On May 16, 2016, Tradewinds Park & Stables concluded its pilot program for the Junior Urban Farmer Volunteer Program. Team leader Meagan McCabe was joined by 19 children, as well as family and park staff, as everyone celebrated the last day of classes and a growing season that taught about sustainability in an agricultural context. The group also included several Invitation Homes volunteers, who donated plants and mulch for the end-of-the-year garden planting around the stables. The garden area was decorated for the event and the children played old-fashioned games and participated in a trivia contest, while everyone enjoyed a potluck breakfast. The next Junior Urban Farmer Volunteer Program will start in early fall.
In April 2016, Tradewinds Park & Stables staff were joined by volunteers from Invitation Homes, who assisted with the beautification of the Junior Urban Farmer garden. This program focuses on educating urban youth on how to grow and harvest their own produce. Invitation Homes constructed a compost tumbler so that children can cultivate their own soil, making this program truly sustainable. In addition, the volunteers created two large netted cages to keep the birds from interfering with the students' hard work. The teamwork exhibited between Tradewinds staff and the Invitation Homes volunteers made these projects flow smoothly. The park thanks Invitation Homes for the time and dedication its volunteers contributed to Broward County Parks and Recreation.
For two consecutive Fridays in July 2015, Invitation Homes volunteers have put on work gloves and picked up machetes to assist the Tradewinds Park staff in the clearing of a portion of the former Vinkemulder property for future recreational opportunities.
This 40-acre site purchased by Broward County was once the location of one of Broward County’s oldest nurseries, and some of the remnants of the nursery still remain. The Invitation Homes volunteers assisted the park staff in removing debris consisting of old pots, cinder blocks, and plywood, as well as overgrown brush, in order to clear the land for new equestrian trails.
Once completed, the area will include up to two miles of new riding trails as well as a mowed two-acre riding/training area for the community to enjoy. In addition to the trails, the park is creating a retirement pasture for the retired horses (some are more than 30 years of age). The retirement pasture is located east of the stables office and visible from Florida’s Turnpike. The Invitation Homes volunteers also assisted in the painting of the fences and bathrooms in that area of the park.
This Tradewinds Park & Stables project launched the Invitation Homes S.E. Florida Outreach Volunteer program. Invitation Homes encourages all employees to give back to the community by allowing employees to volunteer up to 16 hours per year with pay.