April 5, 2019

Written by Jennifer Grebenschikoff, Secretary, VISTA Gardens Board of Directors (pictured, left)

Many of our newer members and likely some of our longer members, may not know that VISTA is actually a corporation that has a Board of Directors. VISTA does not run itself. It takes quite of lot of dedication from a handful of people to make things happen around the garden. Here is what we are and how we do it:

VISTA is a 501(c)(3) Florida corporation (registered as the Village Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Agriculture, Inc.) This means that both cash and in-kind donations to the garden (just like when you give money or clothing to the Salvation Army) are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. If we know about your donation we send you a thank you letter for your records. We encourage you to let your friends and family know that we are always very grateful to receive donations in your honor.

As a corporation, we have Bylaws that describe our purpose and our governance structure of officers, board members, and committees.  View our Bylaws

All Board members and Committee Chairs are volunteers. There is no paid staff at the garden. VISTA is an all-volunteer organization and relies on the time and effort of its gardeners to make this a success. VISTA Gardens operates via various committees. The committees are: Executive, Marketing, Membership, Communication, Garden Infrastructure, Education Outreach, Compost, Garden, Social, Volunteer, House Of The Rising Seeds, and Ad Hoc. Each committee has specific duties as described in the Bylaws and has its own budget. Each Committee Chair reports directly to the Board. We ask that each gardener join a committee to help keep VISTA Gardens running efficiently and effectively. If they wish, gardeners can join more than one committee. We are currently working on a five-year plan. If you have any ideas or suggestions for now or the future, please talk to the appropriate Committee Chair. The Committee Chairs always welcome new ideas and fresh energy to the activities at the garden. And as you see on many weekends, we are assisted by community and school volunteers lending their time and muscle to our various projects.

The VISTA Board and Committee Chairs meet generally every month, on the second Tuesday at 7p at the Carrollwood Cultural Center. All gardeners are invited to attend our meetings. We have a formal Agenda and Minutes are taken and recorded for each meeting. View the most recent Agenda and Minutes

Our Board Treasurer provides a monthly report of revenues and expenses, assets and liabilities, actual to budget comparisons, checking account statement and a reconciliation report. Depending on the year we have an annual budget of $10,000 to $15,000. Our largest expenses are our insurance policies. Our revenues come from member dues, donations, and grants.

Our 3.31 acres at VISTA is owned by Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation Department, and leased to VISTA since 2008 for a very small amount through a long-term renewable agreement. VISTA is officially part of the Hillsborough County Parks system.

What else would you like to know about VISTA?   Email me your questions and I’ll be happy to address them in the next newsletter. It’s good to know about YOUR VISTA!
UT Volunteer Visit
Saturday, April 6
8:00 a.m.
Join us for community fun!

Wild Birds Store Event: Benefits of Recycling
Date: Saturday, April 6 
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: 13140 Dale Mabry Hwy
Diatomaceous Earth: Your Gardens Best Friend
di·a·to·ma·ceous earth ( noun)
  1. a soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic way to control pests in the garden. It is effective against all insect pests that crawl on plants because contact with the powder is extremely dehydrating. After watering the plants, dust them with an applicator. This will help the powder stick to plant surfaces.

There are countless articles on the benefits of DE available online, however this article provides insight into the Top 10 reasons DE is essential to every garden.

Learn which type of DE Is best for your garden and its many uses, including:
  1. Use it as a mechanical pesticide
  2. Keep slugs off your plants
  3. Eliminate flies
  4. Get rid of maggots in compost and manure
  5. Control aphids
  6. Get rid of ants
  7. Keep mite populations down
  8. Discourage rodents from visiting your garden
  9. Use it as a deodorizer
  10. Use it in pots and containers to increase porosity
Carrollwood Village Community Events
Wild Birds Store Event: Benefits of Recycling
Date: Saturday, April 6 
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Location: 13140 Dale Mabry Hwy

Ever get confused about recycling? What can be recycled and what cannot? What do they do with it after we dump it in our bin? With Earth Day coming up, I thought it would be nice to learn more about it and help our planet that we all have to share. 
Nina Stokes from Hillsborough County Public Utilities Recycling Department is coming to teach us about recycling. 
We'll be outside in the courtyard. Refreshments will be provided. We have limited seating, so feel free to bring your own chair.    
• Helps build awareness of the importance of recycling
• Clears up confusion on what you can and can't recycle, and where it should go
• Learn about environmental impacts of recycling 
See VISTAs Susan Baxter Gibson On Stage @ the CCC
Dates: April 27 - 28
Times: 8 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively
Location: 4537 Lowell Road

Following in the footsteps of MAS Theatre’s main stage musical revues, An Evening of Gilbert & Sullivan and Roll the Credits, Masquerade celebrates the ensemble songs of musical theatre from Off-Off-Broadway to the Great White Way.

Eighteen talented Tampa performers, including VISTA Finance Chair, Susan Baxter Gibson, will showcase and celebrate 24 of the most memorable — and some not-so-memorable — songs.

From Hamilton to South Pacific and Little Shop of Horrors to Candide, the set list will sure to entertain.