SNAPSHOTS of Mower Refreshed: From an Interns Lens


MowerRefreshedHeartProgram Planning
Week Two

It’s been four weeks here in Austin, MN and I am liking it! Over these last few weeks I was able to connect with many different individuals from different organizations. I feel so welcomed and appreciate everyone who took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me.

What have I been up to these last couple of weeks? Well, I have been working on a pilot program called Family Kitchen Connection where two English speaking families and two non-English speaking families come together to cook a healthy American or ethnic style dish. Afterwards they will eat the meal together and converse on the importance of cooking and eating as a family. The goal of this pilot program is to build connections and relationships within the community, as well as learn about local resources on where to buy healthy affordable foods, and build healthy families by preparing a meal and eating as a family.

How did this program come to be? Through research and surveys done by community members the previous summer intern came up with the idea of having English and non-English speaking families come together to cook a healthy meal together. My job has been to make it a reality! I have been hard at work connecting with different community members and organizations to get this program up and running. I am excited for this pilot program to hit the ground on Wednesday, June 22nd.

I was also able to be a volunteer at IJ Holton’s Future Fair! This was a great experience for me interacting with kids and connecting with individuals at the school district. These past few weeks I have also been busy attending different community and Mower Refreshed meetings to better understand the community and learn about what is going on. Through these meetings I was able to meet many gatekeepers in the community.

One thing that I learned during these past two weeks is that if you find yourself getting too caught up in program planning that you try to do too much, you have to go back and find your purpose. What is it that you want to get across by implementing this program? This was an important lesson because as I was planning this Family Kitchen Connection pilot program I found myself getting too caught up in wanting to communicate too many different messages. I was getting sidetracked from the purpose of starting this program, which is to build connections and relationships within the community.

Until next time, let’s #GrowMowerGood!
-Kari

Nature Center

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