TWENTY-FIVE years ago, two Boyd School teachers started the Green Thumb Project, a community learning program developed to alleviate hunger in Alamosa. Louella Lenberg and Michele Shioshita, with the help of Terry McClaughry, brought together students from Polston Primary, Alamosa High School, and Boyd Elementary Schools as well as countless local businesses to start a garden.

In the beginning the student-led project harvested 114 pounds of food to be distributed at the Alamosa Food Bank. Today, the Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) is deeply proud to carry forward the legacy of the Boyd Garden and garden education in the San Luis Valley, growing an average of 900 pounds of food across three gardens to be distributed to community members, the emergency shelter, and the Food Bank Network of the San Luis Valley.

Marlena Antonucci, director of VEGI, recognizes the past work that has been put into the garden and is proud to carry forward the legacy that has been established through the passing of so many hands. “I am so grateful for the skill, labor, and creativity that has gone into this garden for the past 25 years. Not only does this garden provide almost 500 pounds of food for our community every year, it echoes the history of love for this place,” she said.

Antonucci and VEGI make it a priority to not only grow food but to educate and inspire community members to find joy and satisfaction in the gardens. “The mission of Boyd Garden is to foster a place where community members can connect to their land and the food grown from it. All are welcome to share the work and share the harvest.”

2022 VEGI Kick-off

DATE: Saturday, May 14
TIME: 11:30 a.m.
PLACE: Boyd Garden, 513 6th Street, Alamosa
TICKETS: $35 before the event, $40 at the door. Tickets for kids 13 and younger are $10. buy tickets online at

DETAILS: There will be a brunch buffet with meat and vegetarian options featuring local producers like Tumbleweed Bakery, Sol Mountain Farm, and Sauder Farm. Local tea from CaRi Conari and coffee from Milagros Coffee House will also be available. There will be family activities like face painting and watercolor painting with plant-based paint. There will also be live music by former La Puente AmeriCorps member Hannah Milks. The brunch will be followed by an optional work day starting at 1 p.m.