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A ‘playground’ of activity growing at Lincoln Enrichment Center

AUGUST 2020: Things are definitely blooming at The Lincoln Enrichment Center.

A major fundraising effort, spearheaded by John W. Jones, was undertaken in 2018 for the playground and thanks to public and private donors including the Rotary Club of Wagoner, Lake Region Electric Cooperative, Arvest Bank, and the Wagoner Parrot Head Club, the state of the art playground was purchased and installed.

This spring, the Lincoln Enrichment Center expanded the garden to focus on the Monarch Butterflies with education, learning, and demonstrations and added eight new garden beds. Due to the efforts of lead garden volunteer, Nancy Russell Waggoner, and several dedicated volunteers, nine different foods (tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, tomatillos, melons, watermelons and okra), 50 native perennial plants and flowers, and eight annual nectar plants were grown this summer. The organization also applied for and received free milkweed plants from Kansas University in order and became a Monarch Watch Station.

“The Lincoln Learning Garden is a labor of love. There is no other community garden here that shares the pollinator and native plant importance. We are able to grow plants chemically free to provide an ecosystem for pollinators, and to share that beauty, joy, and enthusiasm with our children and the community. The bonus is that we are growing vegetables for the community,” said Waggoner.

During Spring Break Week, the Lincoln Enrichment Center, along with generous supporters, served 600 hot meals to over 80 students and family members.

While the center was officially closed during COVID-19, that didn’t stop the volunteers from delivering over 30,000 WPS snack packs to students five days a week, over 7,000 brown bag lunches, and 400 food boxes with dairy and produce to senior citizens and disabled individuals. In addition to the food deliveries, the organization’s volunteers delivered books, learning materials, hygiene items, clothing, and Wagoner Public Library arts and crafts bags.

At the present time, the Lincoln Enrichment Center is working closely with the Bartlesville Boys and Girls Club of America to develop the Wagoner Boys and Girls Club. After a community meeting was held and a needs survey was conducted, a steering committee is being formed and a feasibility study will be undertaken.

“We are thankful for all of the support that God has provided us through our wonderful community. What is happening at the Lincoln Enrichment Center is truly a testimony of what a significant and positive impact we can make when we come together and share our hearts, hopes, and resources to create a brighter future for our children,” said Jones, President and co-founder of the Lincoln Enrichment Center.

The Lincoln Enrichment Center, formally incorporated as a 501©3 nonprofit organization in August 2019, is home to the Brighter Futures Foundation and the Lincoln Learning Garden.