Youth come together in the name of service

Last week, several youths from local organizations came together to participate in community service projects in Buffalo and the surrounding area. 

 On Monday, June 24, a group of Wright County 4-H students and parents traveled to Sauk Centre where they worked alongside Buffalo FFA participants, and students enrolled in BHM summer programming through the Phoenix Learning Center, on a landscaping project at Eagle’s Healing Nest, an organization that works to meet the needs of veterans and service members who suffer from the effects of trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and addiction. 


Eagle’s Healing Nest Landscaping:

The landscaping project at Eagle’s Healing Nest was brought about in large part through the efforts of Callie Radintz, a student from Orono who participates in the Wright County 4-H program. Radintz discussed this landscaping idea as part of a leadership project with her club leader, Shana Bregenzer-Brenny, who helped Callie bring the idea to life.  

Callie and others worked to raise money for the project through fundraising events and shared that while enrolled in a leadership class at her high school, she was required to give a presentation in front of students and parents. She presented her idea for the landscaping project and after her presentation, she received a donation from someone in the audience. Project funding grew from these efforts, which included the cost of purchasing plants.  

To further assist Radintz in bringing her vision to life, she was connected to Buffalo FFA leader, Gary Wirkus, who provided guidance, planning, and architectural design for the landscaping. It was all hands-on deck, as several participants were needed to dig in and provide the human-power needed to bring the project to completion. 

BHM educators Shana Bregenzer-Brenny and Kari DeClerk who co-teach a class called “Living Purposefully, Finding Joy” at the Phoenix Learning Center (part of BHM school district), brought students from their class to help with the project. Several more students from Callie’s 4-H club answered the call and showed up to pitch in and help out. Students worked to plant perennials and pollinators around the grounds of Eagle’s Healing Nest, digging holes and spreading mulch. Shana stated, “All young people came together to give their efforts. This was a unique day in that it brought together Phoenix summer school students, Buffalo FFA, and Wright County 4-H participants who all worked for a common goal.”

Callie said that she was proud that so many people showed up to help. “It’s something I had been talking about for a long time. I’m happy with the amount of involvement and how productive we were. This was not just something I put on paper to pass a class.”


Buffalo and Montrose Projects:

On Tuesday, June 25, students from the Phoenix Learning Center participated in a gardening project at Northwinds Elementary where they worked to clear space for flowers and shrubs to be planted. That same afternoon, the students traveled to Montrose where they helped package and distribute food through FE-ED (For Each and Every Day).  

Goals of Phoenix Learning Center programming include engaging students during the summer months when they are out of the classroom by providing social enrichment and educational opportunities, which help to reduce isolation, while working to strengthen academic growth. 

Many students, along with parents, teachers, and leaders all came together for the greater good, learning teamwork while making connections and friendships along the way. 



The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313

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