Tending the Giving Garden with Father Fred

EcoCorps Project Portfolio


Historic Barns Park; Traverse City, Grand Traverse County




  • Father Fred Foundation
  • City of Traverse City & Charter Township of Garfield Recreational Authority
  • Carls Foundation
  • amical


The Giving Garden is a partnership between SEEDS Ecology & Education Centers and the Father Fred Foundation to support Father Fred families experiencing financial hardships. 

The Giving Garden is located at the SEEDS Farm at Historic Barns Park in Traverse City. The garden produces a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, all of which are harvested and distributed to families experiencing food insecurity throughout the region.

In 2021 1,687 individuals visited the Father Fred Foundation for food assistance. An additional 1,032 people were provided food packages through Father Fred’s Pantry to Preschool program. Father Fred strives to offer non-processed, healthy choices to the individuals and families they serve and this collaboration with SEEDS makes that easier. 

In 2021 alone more than 1,500 pounds of produce were harvested in collaboration with Father Fred volunteers, SEEDS staff, and AmeriCorps volunteers. SEEDS works throughout the region, supporting food distribution at eleven school sites, as well as establishing indoor and outdoor gardens and supporting other food distribution initiatives.