Retail Construction Services, Inc. is dedicated to giving back.

We give back not only to those in need within our community, but also the future generations of this wonderful community. What started out as a great idea has grown exponentially and has become an amazing reality. Here at the RCS Giving Garden, school groups, master gardeners, corporate volunteers, and our own employees work together for the common good of teaching children the art of gardening and the importance of healthy eating. Click Here for Full Story.

Retail Construction Services, Inc.
11343 39th Street N.
Lake Elmo, MN 55042

From HWY 36 - go south on Lake Elmo Ave, turn left onto 39th Street, garden is at corner of 39th and Laverne.
From HWY 5- going west from Stillwater take right onto Laverne (near Fury dealership) garden is on the right at corner of Laverne and 39th street.

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The RCS Giving Garden

The RCS Giving Garden


Who Are Master Gardeners? Master Seed Planters of the Heart!

Washington County Master Gardeners
L to R:  Barbara Stalsberg, Kathy Luoma, Liz Smith, Liz Nordling, Deb Lynch and Paul Richtman
Not pictured:  A.J. Moses, Kathi McMahon, Tricia Jorgensen, and Mary Green

A.J. Moses, our beekeeper!
Kathy Luoma
One of our apple trees did not survive this past winter.  The RCS Giving Garden was gifted a new Zestar apple tree, donated by the Washington County Master Gardeners!  This was an amazing  surprise and a welcome addition back to the garden. 

If I look at the definition of Who are Master Gardeners, the University of Minnesota says they "... are from all walks of life and volunteer on behalf of their university. They are eager to share best practices in gardening with people in their community that promote healthy landscapes, healthy foods, and healthy lives. They have completed a university-taught core course and contributed a certain number of hours to teaching research-based horticulture practices in their communities."

Mary Green
Paul Richtman
If you ask the RCS Teaching Giving Garden the definition of a who a Master Gardener is, it would say; A Master Gardener is a Master Seed Planter in an extraordinary way; more than planting seed to soil, but planting seed to heart.  That type of seed planting is ever lasting.   A good seed planter can teach you something that you will remember for a day, but a Master Seed Planter will teach you something that you will remember and take with you for the rest of your life.

Tricia Jorgensen
The lessons taught at this teaching giving garden are not to influence youth to become rocket scientists or brain surgeons.  They are to strengthen a basic foundation of life, establish solid
Liz Smith
building blocks that have been missing in youth education - the basic right to know where our food comes from and how to grow it.  It's that simple.

It is our hope that as this teaching giving garden shows the cycles of life from seed to seedling, from plant to produce, from produce to healthy food, that each lesson will have a life cycle of its very own.  Life lessons to be carried on outside of this garden, into the new gardens of those who have learned, and to continue to teach for generations to come.
Liz Nordling and Deb Lynch
Kathi McMahon

Washington County Master Gardeners, thank you for all of your work, the lessons you teach, and moreover, for being amazing Master Seed Planters!

Quotes from our Master Gardner's extraordinaire!

"The Giving Garden is a place and project near and dear to my heart!  I became a Master Gardener because I wanted to teach kids and adults about the beauty of plants, the importance of knowing where our food comes from, and the fun we can have working together to grow them!  Being a part of The Giving Garden is a wonderful way to do just that!  From the sowing of tiny tomato seeds in peat pots under grow lights in anticipation of spring... to working with the RCS staff to make a piece of ground come together to make a garden on Planting Day... to harvesting bicep-building bags of squash and tomatoes... to seeing the fresh produce get taken home by Valley Outreach's a full-circle experience for which I am so grateful! " - Kathy Luoma

"In 2009 Retail Construction Services began their Giving Garden and I began my Master Gardener internship. One of my first projects was volunteering at the Giving Garden.  It's been exciting, over the years, to witness the garden mature and flourish through community support bringing the garden to literal fruition.  I am grateful and blessed to have a very small role in such a wonderful project." - Tricia Jorgensen

"What a privilege it is to contribute to the RCS Teaching Giving Garden where I can enjoy the smell of plants, the feel of soil, the time to absorb nature and the company of others in a garden that is worked by many in order to give to many. "  - Deb Lynch

"I love what RCS is doing with the RCS Teaching Giving Garden. Giving back to the community with food and sustainability is such a commendable way for a business to show their commitment to social responsibility. PLUS...the kids are amazing. They want to learn. They are excited to watch the garden grow and can't wait to weigh what they have harvested! The RCS Teaching Giving Garden is educating a whole new generation on the art of growing their own food. It is also so rewarding for the Master Gardeners to have the opportunity to share their experiences and their knowledge with so many children...without RCS we may not have that opportunity!" - Kathi McMahon

"I really enjoy working in the RCS Garden as it combines so many of my favorite things - working with kids and volunteers, providing good nutritious food for those who need it, and sharing my love of gardening.  It is a win, win, win! Thank you for all you do to make this garden such a success!" - Liz Nordling

"The Giving Garden was unlikely to succeed when started years ago; growing vegetables in a parking lot!  However, because of the effort by the RCS employees, they have made it successful!  And, it gets better and better each year - as we learn from our mistakes." - Paul Richtman
Click to link to the U of M Master Gardener Extension program
- Contributed by Joni Fletty