Neenah, Wis. – Miron Construction Co., Inc. recently launched a program to help its employees start and maintain gardens at home. The Garden More, Stress Less program directly supports some of Miron’s core drivers—wellness, sustainability and family.
Using credits earned from Waste Management, Miron purchased equipment such as wheel barrows, shovels, rakes, a garden tiller and a seed spreader, which employees can take home to sustain their vegetable, flower and herb gardens. Employees who chose to participate in the program meet on a regular basis to discuss the benefits of gardening, maintenance tips, variations in garden bed designs, different plant requirements for successful growth, and harvesting.
Chad Pingel, sustainable services manager and facilitator of the program, says gardening is not only good for employee health, but also for morale.
“The Garden More, Stress Less program will certainly benefit the participants’ health by reducing stress and providing nutritious foods, but it also serves as another team building component that helps strengthen our Miron family, something we’re very proud of,” Pingel said. “This program is 100 percent Miron-supported and employee-driven.”
Pingel has also launched a pilot gardening program at Clayton Elementary School to help enhance nutritional education through hands-on gardening. “By allowing kids to spend more time outdoors and work hands on, I am hoping to create an increased interest in better eating habits,” Pingel said. “Obesity is a serious issue among today’s youth. Education, with the enhancement of outdoor access, offers a proactive approach to changing those bad habits. It also helps to improve teamwork and communication, all while teaching the students patience and responsibility as they take care of the plants.”
There are currently four 4’x8’ raised garden beds on school grounds that Pingel, Lee Rabas (wellness education instructor for Clayton and Lakeview Elementary) and parent volunteers help students maintain. The raised garden bed soil mix was donated by Schmalz Custom Landscaping & Gardening Center, Inc. and the raised beds, along with a custom rain barrel and other miscellaneous gardening supplies were donated by Miron Construction Co., Inc.