New RMHC Greif Garden

Newly Installed Garden Starts Up At Ronald McDonald House

Greif Garden Starts Providing Ingredients for House Chef, Stress Relief for Families Thanks to $20,000 Grant

After two seasons of construction, the beloved garden at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus has returned to the backyard of the newly expanded Columbus Ronald McDonald House this week, thanks to the hard work of volunteers, House staff, and even some guest families digging in. A $20,000 grant from Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and made the start of the garden possible. On Thursday, May 16th, a volunteer-led gardening event at the House had participants pulling weeds and planting plants.

Thoughtful care and consideration were put into the design of the new garden space, named the Greif Garden (pronounced “gryfe”), thanks to a generous sponsorship by the local packaging company. The new garden features three accessible raised garden beds so guest family members who use wheelchairs can also participate in growing the garden. All guests will be able to cut flowers and herbs from these beds. A dedicated pollinator section in the center will be full of color with a mix of annuals and perennials, while the outside beds of the garden will grow tomatoes and peppers for our kitchens, giving guests the option to enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables. Thursday was a perfect warm and sunny day for gardening, squeezed between two days of constant rain. Planted were cherry tomatoes, red and green peppers, eggplant, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, lavender, and a variety of flowers that can be cut for table decorations in the House dining room. House Chef Blair Arms will once again be able to add fresh ingredients from the garden to recipes for guest family meals. A gourd trellis, just like the popular one in the previous House Garden, will soon be added too. 

“We hope that this garden will not only provide food for our kitchens but also a quiet place to relax for our guests,” said Kate Becker, Chief Program Officer for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and provided $20,000 in funding support through its Lots of Compassion Grant to help kickstart the garden. In its second year, the Lots of Compassion program, in collaboration with Walmart, aims to spread goodness across the nation. RMHC of Central Ohio is one of ten gardens to receive a grant. Launched in April 2023, the initiative works to foster compassion by transforming vacant lots into community gardens. The revitalization of the lots is supported through sales of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brand’s iconic Compassion Flower product line. 

Asked about the new garden, RMHC of Central Ohio CEO Dee Anders says, “It reflects the love that supports this House. Not only will the garden showcase the compassion that is already present here, but it will also be a place where acts of care happen all the time.” With the recent expansion of the local Ronald McDonald House to 206 guest rooms, the organization is now able to support 6,500 families each year with children treated at area hospitals.