Happen Inc. creating two community gardens thanks to support from Mendelsohn Foundation for Arts

Happen, Inc. is set to launch a pair of teen-led community gardens thanks to the ongoing support from the Mendelsohn Foundation for the Arts.

Founded in 2005, the Mendelsohn Foundation recently sponsored Northside-based Happen, Inc.’s inaugural Butterfly Garden. The green space features annual plants, like zinnias and cosmos, planted by participants in Happen, Inc.’s “Teen Garden Club.” The young entrepreneurs are learning from local floral designers how to cut flowers and arrange them into designer bouquets. They’ll sell the flowers this fall. The teens will keep the sale proceeds, per Happen, Inc.

Dr. Jon Mendelsohn gets a closer look at the Zinnia’s in Happen Inc.’s Butterfly Garden.
Dr. Jon Mendelsohn gets a closer look at the zinnia’s in Happen Inc.’s new Butterfly Garden.

The Mendelsohn Foundation also funded the recent completion of Happen, Inc.’s “Do Goods” Garden. There, teens and volunteers will grow vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, lettuce and peppers. The garden features a gutter system with a 1,500-gallon underground water tank that will pump recycled rainwater to each of the 24 raised plant beds. Planting will begin next spring, with the goal of selling everything from the harvest to local restaurants.

Both gardens are part of Happen, Inc.’s Art and Nature Center.

Supported by Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, along with friends, family and patients, the Mendelsohn Foundation for the Arts aims to provide children, locally and abroad, with opportunities to explore and grow through arts-based programming. Over the years, the organization has supported several of Happen, Inc.’s programs, such as “Let’s Play With Clay” and “Lights, Camera, Action.”

Left to right: Tommy Rueff, founder and director Happen, Inc.;
Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, executive director of The Mendelsohn Foundation for the Arts; Kristen Keane, volunteer, Engineers Without Borders; Phoenix Jackson and Zak Goebel, Morning Light Landscaping LLC.
Tommy Rueff, founder and director of Happen, Inc.; Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, executive director of The Mendelsohn Foundation for the Arts; Kristen Keane, volunteer, Engineers Without Borders; Phoenix Jackson and Zak Goebel, Morning Light Landscaping LLC