Friends in community make what we do possible

The Vegetable Project has an important message for some really great friends:


We are so grateful for quite a number of generous contributions that we have received in recent months. And we are long overdue in sharing word of each with everyone who follows our efforts to build a bit of doing and touching and tasting and experiencing into teaching and learning in Albany.

The Whitehall Neighborhood Association, led by Robert Murphy, is the Vegetable Project’s 2021 Growing Season Sponsor. The Growing Season Sponsorship, a key piece in the Vegetable Project’s financial and programming puzzle each year, provides vital wherewithal for the breadth of our undertakings, including planting and maintaining gardens at two schools, classroom projects and youth mentoring activities.

Albany Medical College was the principal sponsor of Thrive Outside, the test drive of outdoor instruction that we offered to Myers Middle School teachers in May. With kind support from the college (beyond an already extensive partnership), we were able to place shelter in the form of two substantial tents at Myers during the two-week event, which we organized to advance our bid to develop an outdoor classroom at the middle school. The long-term plan includes a shaded sitting area – perhaps
like a park pavilion – where classes could meet. The test drive gave teachers a chance to experience teaching in a very different setting than the indoor classroom.

Stantec Consulting Services, an international design firm with an office in Albany, gave to the Vegetable Project as part of a corporate program that encourages volunteerism by its professionals – as if we weren’t already fortunate beyond words for incredible landscape architectural services that produced conceptual renderings of the outdoor classroom that we seek to develop at Myers Middle School. As appreciative as we are for giving by the company, we are thankful for personal contributions of landscape architects Barbara Nazarewicz and Adam Fearing, in the company’s Albany and Boston offices, respectively.

Stewart’s Shops and its Holiday Match Program, among the region’s top contributors year after year to organizations and programs that serve kids, included the Vegetable Project in its roster of 2021 funding recipients. The convenience store chain has raised nearly $32 million for children’s charities through its Holiday Match since 1986. It has shared with the Vegetable Project three times now.

The Myers Middle School PTSA, a long-time major supporter of our school gardening initiative, provided significant funding toward employing youths to care for the school garden this summer. The PTSA has been a consistent source of connections, informal resources, inspiration and financial assistance since our first presentation to membership in 2009.

The Albany-based Lee & Heidi Newberg Fund provided generous funding, for its third time, that supports the gamut of Vegetable Project work.

Engineering and planning firm Weston & Sampson, through its Albany office, and Cloverleaf Nurseries in Menands gave two beautiful river birch trees to the outdoor classroom cause at Myers Middle School. These trees, with much greater presence upon their arrival than mere saplings, will speed up the process of transforming the Myers schoolyard from an institutional place to the kind of a cared-for special place that creates lasting memories.

Twenty-seven garden bed sponsors who answered our call for one-year family-sized contributions to support all of our work. Please visit our gardens at Myers Middle School and Albany High School to see all the individuals, families and businesses proudly counting themselves as friends of the Vegetable Project.

We have a few ideas about the value of hands-on learning opportunities. But we could not put those ideas into practice without so many friends in the community saying, “Yeah, they make some sense.”


–Bill Stoneman

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