Shell Puget Sound Refinery Construction Specialist Kyle McNair has been involved with the refinery’s “Adopt-a-family” team for many years. The Adopt-a-family team raises funds each year and donates needed items such as gloves, socks, books etc., to local Head Start programs during the holidays. Last year, Linda Hildon from Pacific Place Head Start in Mount Vernon told Kyle that they would like organic seeds and garden tools, because they had a project in mind that they were hoping to make a reality.

“Our idea was to create a special place where children can develop their imaginations, learn about nature by experiencing it, being able to explore on their own, and to take a few risks in a safe way,” said Hildon. “Planting flowers and vegetables is part of having a natural playground, and children are a part of the whole life cycle of the plant by first planting the seeds in early spring, seeing them sprout, and then watching the plants grow and maybe even tower over them as the season goes on.”

PSR’s McNair thought this sounded like a super idea, so she went back to her co-workers in the PSR Construction trailer, told them she was going to build the new garden beds for Head Start, and asked for their help. They all chipped in personal funds for soil and materials, and then gathered on Saturday, January 23rd to make the project a reality.

“I want to thank my co-workers, as the entire Construction team participated, and we used the 189 packets of seeds and garden tools we had donated at Christmas,” said McNair. “This teamwork was so fun and for a great cause for our community. The kids will have fresh vegetables to eat and even hope to harvest enough to send home to their families.”

“I was thoroughly impressed with the teamwork and willingness to help,” continued Hildon. “This project will make a big difference for the kids and helps the families in so many ways. Fresh vegetables will be eaten at school and sent home to the needy families, and it has been shown that spending time in nature reduces stress, and children have lower incidence of behavioral disorders among many more benefits. I am proud to know each one of the volunteers from Shell and the team should be proud of what they did to make the community better”.