Local college student to host vegetable seed distribution event April 20

Linda Derry, pictured, is inviting the community to join her at her seed distribution event on April 20
Photo via Linda Derry

A local college student is hosting a vegetable seed distribution event on Saturday, April 20 at the Springfield Park picnic area, located on 146-2 Springfield Blvd., from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Linda Derry, 19, is a Springfield Gardens resident and self-proclaimed environmentalist. Her event, sponsored by Volunteers for Springfield Park, will provide vegetable seed packets, sustainability workshops, and arts and crafts for community members interested in attending. 

Derry said she wants to emphasize to local residents that they can create their own green spaces in their backyards. “The point is basically to get the word out. You can have a garden in Queens and it can be sustainable for yourself, it’s less expensive,” she said.

Her program is funded by the Youth Service America’s Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Youth Grant. Derry is 1 of 54 recipients to receive a $500 grant from the foundation from across the country. Five grant recipients, including herself, are from New York state. 

Derry is looking for 50 volunteers from ages 5-25 to attend the event.  Additionally, donations of vegetable and fruit seeds, paint brushes, and gardening tools are welcomed. “I do want everyone to come and learn. It’s going to be a great family event.” she said.  I’m definitely encouraging all kinds of volunteers to come and take care of a local park. Even if you’re not local, this could be like the start of your environmental journey.” 

Derry wants all of the attendees to receive seed packets and learn how to plant them at home. She is planning a recipe workshop to show residents how to use leftovers and canned goods in their day-to-day meals.  

The 19-year-old hosted a similar seed distribution and workshop event in 2021, where she handed out 144 seed packets to 44 families. The event was at the Garden of Resilience, a community garden in Springfield Gardens. This year Derry hopes to double her numbers. 

Derry’s passion for photography led her to fall in love with the environment. “I started taking nature pictures, pictures of flowers, and nature walks. It was a way to document at first, and then I fell in love with lighting, so that kind of grew on me,” she said. She’s spent the past few years participating in beach clean ups at Far Rockaway Beach, and tree and flower plantings at various parks throughout the city. 

She also competes in pageants, where she spreads her message on environmental education. “I definitely can plan to continue my pageant platform as environmental education, hopefully on a national scale,” she said.

For anyone interested in signing up or donating to the event contact projecteducateearth@gmail.com