We couldn’t BEE more excited to share that Community Forklift’s Community Building Blocks program provided Cottage City Community Garden with a unique donation of beekeeping kits! With the donated hive equipment, frames, and more, the garden’s beekeepers were able to harvest 120 bottles of golden brown honey for the community. According to Diana Guelespe, Volunteer Co-leader at Cottage City Community Garden, “the garden has three certified beekeepers maintaining the hives and keeping [the] bees happy.”
The garden is located in Brentwood, MD, and when opened in 2010 was the first community garden to open in the Port Towns of Prince George County, MD. The group of gardeners and volunteers have worked to maintain and expand the garden over the years and have built 30 beds (including ADA garden beds to support gardeners of all ages and abilities) available for community residents to rent, and a three-bin composting station.
In 2020, the group decided to introduce honeybees — the most important pollinators — to the garden to help increase the honeybee population and also to help the garden produce fruits and vegetables.
“Cottage City Community Garden’s Beehives and Beekeepers appreciate the support from Community Forklift,” Diana said. “In our three years of keeping bees at our Cottage City Community Garden, it’s been challenging but so gratifying.”
Community Forklift’s Community Building Blocks program provides grants of free materials to community groups and other non-profits. Since 2011, Community Forklift has worked with around 500 organizations and provided over $340,000 worth of materials to start and expand projects that serve the greater community.
“We started with one hive,” Diana said. “Thanks to the generous donation from Community Forklift we added frames and now have three healthy hives. Within three weeks of receiving the new supplies and frames, we were able to harvest our first honey of the spring season.”
The Cottage City Community Garden is supported through partnerships with the Anacostia Watershed Society, Community Forklift, ECO City Farms, Port Towns Health Partnership, Port Towns Youth Council, and Cottage City Residents. Individuals can volunteer in the garden for a small fee to have access to vegetables grown in the communal areas. Visit the Cottage City Community Garden website to learn more about the organization!
“Cottage City Community Garden’s Beehives and Beekeepers appreciate the support from Community Forklift. In our three years of keeping bees at our Cottage City Community Garden, it’s been challenging but so gratifying.”