In nature, beautiful things can grow from humble beginnings. Such is the case for STARability’s THRIVEability community garden in partnership with River Park Community Center. Abbie Sladick, founder of Abbie Joan Fine Living, has been instrumental in helping STARability’s new endeavor to spread its roots.
Sladick has coordinated donations of potted plants, tools and other materials, including the iconic starburst tree planted during the garden’s soft opening on Arbor Day this past spring. She also serves on the grant committee of Naples Garden Club, who generously awarded a grant to the garden in March. The Naples Garden Club’s mission is to provide opportunities for sharing and learning about horticulture, floral design and the environment in a congenial, supportive atmosphere.
“Abbie’s enthusiasm and passion for the project, in addition to her community connections for resources, enabled us to check many needs off our start-up list of tools and plant materials,” said STARability Vocational Services Manager and THRIVEability project co-lead, Halley Kretschmer. “This included the propagation of her homegrown starburst tree, a piece of which now grows at the entrance of our garden as a symbol of our brand.”
Sladick said she is very inspired by the “win-win-win project” that is THRIVEability and believes the possibilities are endless.
“My business is right around the corner from the garden,” she said. “The location is a wonderful place for residents and businesspeople to stroll during the day and interact with STARability participants, which presents the opportunity for possible employment and mentoring. The space is also a vibrant and ever-changing addition to the River Park Community Center that is used by so many. As the area has many more outdoor art shows and activities, it will be a great opportunity for participants to get involved.”