Thursday, January 13, 2011
While I Was Out Part 6: TBG/Toledo Grows, Toledo Ohio
So three weeks away from home and our first assignment brings me right back to Ohio, awesome. Our first round project had us in Toledo working at the Toledo Botanical Gardens doing grounds keeping. Despite my tone in the first sentence I actually had a lot of fun there with the team, and some of the coolest people we've worked with were from TBG. There was also a comic book store fairly close to our housing so I got to catch up on my X-men during that whole Second Coming cross over and what not. The gardens were so beautiful, it was like a hidden gem lost in the city.
It was weird I actually met a person who had mutual friends with me. They had us staying at the intern house right outside the gardens (which was nice) where we also stayed with Ian, another AmeriCorps, who was cool. We bounded over comics, he introduced me to Grant Morrison's Animal Man (which I enjoyed) and I introduced him to X-Men: God Loves Man Kills (which he enjoyed.) I also found out that he went to Oberlin College which is like 10-15 minutes from where I went to High School and where I spent some time with friends so we had quite a few conversations about local attractions. Speaking of home I took the advantage of the close proximity and went home for a weekend to visit the folks, which is probably where the "famous Matt Rossi" reputation came from. We worked with Ian through out the week with the garden's partner organization Toledo Grows which is committed to encouraging better life style choices through creating community gardens. We often worked with local youth groups and volunteer groups in creating these community gardens, and engaging the kids in summer camp-esc activities.
A big part of our job in Toledo was helping prepare the Gardens for there annual Crosby Festival for the Arts, TBG's biggest fund raiser of the year. The Crosby festival has artists from all over come to the gardens and sell their work. They also had live performers and I saw some amazing art, it was an all around great time. We were invited by our main sponsor to his after party which in itself was a Hell of a time. Sadly we had to leave Toledo early because our team was one of the two teams that were pulled from their current assignments to go down to Mississippi in response the the Gulf Oil spill.