Giving Garden pioneer honored

Where better to honor Middlefield resident Jen Huddleston, recipient of the Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation’s 2020 Howard Kelley Community Service Award, then at a reception in The Giving Garden?

With about 25 people in attendance on a perfect fall day, CVEF VP Tina Gossner said of Huddleston’s role in the creation of the garden, now in its third season,

“Many others would have been overwhelmed by starting The Giving Garden. Jen just jumped in and within a year we had rows, fences, a shed, electricity, a set up for an irrigation system and produce to give away!”

Acknowledging her award, Huddleston was quick to point out the true community nature of The Giving Garden, noting she had never  experienced a project that flowed so easily. Community members, businesses and charities were eager to contribute.

“Whenever we needed something, that thing would flow to us as a gift,” Huddleston reflected. “All I had to do was be as present and mindful as possible, and orchestrate.”

CVEF president Nancy Earls thanked those who attended the Oct. 16 event, including family, friends, CVEF supporters and donors and previous Howard Kelley Award recipients.

Honoring COVID protocols, a reception for the organization’s 2020 recipient was not possible last year. But, Earls noted, actually being able to hold the gathering in The Giving Garden — albeit with a nine-month delay — resulted in the perfect location to celebrate.

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