As many of you know, we lost one of our longstanding WMFC members, Sherry Frick, last month. Sherry was such an inspiration to us, with her commitment to local farms and foods, her dedication to help end hunger, and her passion for helping teach others about our food system.
UMD College of Agriculture & Natural Resources Dean, Craig Beyrouty, captured our sentiments in his email regarding Sherry's passing:
Sherry had the most giving heart and enthusiasm for life, and she will be deeply missed by all.
Sherry was an incredibly dedicated and active member of the college community. She spearheaded a number of notable projects that earned her significant recognition for their undeniable impact across the state. Her innumerable accomplishments include the Jane Gates Heritage House teaching garden, where she helped serve the museum’s mission of faith, education, and African American History. Sherry designed and executed a backyard transformation that included four raised beds for vegetables, a small bed for fruit, and a pollinator garden.
Sherry initiated the “Apples for All” project in 2017, where she collaborated with a local WWII veteran who wanted to donate all of the fruit from his orchard to folks in need. Frick organized 35 volunteers to pick and distribute over 6,000 pounds of apples to 22 organizations including food pantries, homeless shelters, senior centers, soup kitchens, and schools.
Some of Sherry’s other innovative projects include the installation of the new rain garden at a local school as well as her work at 13 different sites where she assisted in the planning and design of community or demonstration gardens. Sherry was ever present at her local farmer’s market as an ambassador for its popular demonstration garden, which she was instrumental in designing. The garden provided a platform for programming opportunities and emphasized native plants, attracting pollinators, the historical use of plants for medicine, dye, fiber, edible landscaping, and food gardening.
When the pandemic hit, instead of scaling back programming, Sherry ramped it up. She collaborated with the Garrett County horticulture educator to transition programs into a virtual format. Their gardening and forestry series drew an amazing 3,500 participants for their synchronous sessions. Also during that time, Sherry chaired UME’s Program Reopening Committee which was tasked with developing guidelines and resources for Extension educators to return to in-person programming in response to COVID-19 health and safety issues.
In her free time, Sherry was engaged in many service activities including three visits to Haiti with a local church to educate women about proper seed planting techniques and growing vegetables and flowers.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct 22 at 1 pm at Pleasant View Baptist Church at 8931 Garrett Highway in Oakland, with a dessert extravaganza to follow.
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