A seed of hope: Shirlet Earnest builds community garden in Flint's Civic Park

Flint, MI— Shirlet Earnest is helping to grow Civic Park in a whole new way. 

“We had a garden there when I was little and my mom made homemade ice cream and we enjoyed the space and that is what I want to convey to my neighbors,” said Earnest, who founded My Community Resource House and Garden in 2016. “I would like them to enjoy the space." 

Earnest moved to Civic Park when she was 5, when on to graduate from Flint Northern High school, get her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from Saginaw Valley State University and then earn her master’s in business administration from Walden University. 

Over the past 18 years, she’s built her occupational therapy career, but her mind and heart often came back here to Civic Park. It was impossible to forget the early days of care-free late night walks in the neighborhood, where doors were left unlocked throughout the night said Earnest. 

Those memories motivated her to found this community garden on the very property where she grew up at 2013 Dupont. Here, you can find Earnest working her green thumb, offering up healthy recipes, and even doing door-to-door summer deliveries of the garden’s produce.

Her community work aligns with some of the core pillars of occupational therapy. She describes her work as a holistic process that combines the physical, nutritional, and artistic needs of the body. 

“The whole basis of the garden was really to get everyone in the community together," said Earnest. 

For more information, visit My Community Resource House and Garden Facebook page
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Read more articles by Xandr Brown.