The South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden Wraps Up Its 10th Season

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From Rent Party

The South Orange Elks presented the Rent Party Garden with a check for $3,500 this week. 

Lodge Secretary Bob Donnelly said, “It was a pleasure to present Rent Party Pantry a check for this year’s Garden expenses, funded by our Elks National Foundation Beacon Grant for this continuing community project. It has been a great partnership for the last 10 years!”

The South Orange Elks Rent Party Garden flourishes in the full sun of the front lawn of the South Orange Elks Lodge on Prospect Street. It is, in the words of Rent Party founder Chris Dickson, “a wonderfully unique partnership with the Elks.” Donnelly echoed that comment, adding that “there is no other partnership like this anywhere else in New Jersey.”  

The 31 raised bed garden has fed the community since 2012. Each season, the garden grows more than 2,000 pounds of fresh produce that is donated to local food pantries and other community initiatives, including Seth Boyden Shares. 

The Garden team also gathered to honor Gabe Ribicoff, one of their longtime volunteers who is heading off to the University of Chicago to resume his college studies. 

“Gabe’s contribution to the Garden is immeasurable,” said Karen Rutberg, Director of Garden Operations. “We benefited so much from  his wealth of expertise in soil health, plant selection and propagation, crop management and integrated pest management and we have put it to use in the Garden. He will be missed.” 

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