The Noyes Home for Children

For both the kids and trees, this Microgrant-winning project gives new meaning to the saying, "bloom where you’re planted."

Noyes Home - Boys picking peppersThere’s a very special place in St. Joseph, Mo. called The Noyes Home for Children. It provides a safe caring environment for homeless kids until their parents can get back on their feet.

“It’s a mostly peanut butter and jelly and bologna world they come from,” said Steve Adams (pictured below), a longtime supporter of the home, and a control operator at KCP&L’s Lake Road Power Station. “Most of them have never seen growing vegetables, and some don’t know what they are when they do see them.” He learned that by talking to the kids when he helped create and tend the Noyes vegetable garden. 

KCP&L Volunteer Steve AdamsSteve knew Chelsea Howlett, Noyes Home program director, wanted to expand the garden by restoring the orchard that was on its grounds when Charles Noyes donated the land for the home. Noyes was an orphan who grew up to become a successful businessman. He understood how an orchard can enrich a child’s life by providing fresh fruit, a safe place to play and an understanding of nature.

And that’s why Steve suggested that The Noyes Home apply for a KCP&L 2015 Microgrant. 

The Noyes Home is now restoring the orchard with help of their Microgrant—and others.

“We planted 4 apple trees and some fruit bushes last fall,” said Howlett. “The grant will pay for about 20 more apple and pear trees, plus the soil amendments to provide the nutrients they need to grow and thrive. The City of St. Joseph, Mo. helped us add a water hydrant for watering the new plants, and Moffett Nursery volunteered to plant the trees.”  So it’s a group effort.

“The orchard and garden next to it will become an outdoor classroom,” Howlett added. “The kids will learn what’s involved in growing fruit, and we’ll harvest the fruit to make jams and jellies. They will also learn about healthy eating, and they’ll have a new place to play and connect with nature.”

Learn more about the Noyes Home.