We Had a Fantastic Time at the Ladybug Festival: Growing With SEAC! Thank You All!

A HUGE thank you to all who attended our Ladybug Festival! We had over 200 people stop by to check out the vendors, get some food, and listen to music by local performers, Kit Carnahan, who entertained us with their amazing violin skills, and Doctor’s Orders who covered beloved folk and rock songs!

Thank you to Wide Water Gardens for letting us hold our event again in their beautiful space and sharing it with others. Thank you to all our sponsors for your support and just being awesome! Thank you to State Senator Samra Brouk for taking a moment to speak at the event about community, family, and the importance of supporting local.

Thank you to artist Frank Argento for creating a beautiful line of garden/vegetable art and canvas bags to support SEAC!

We look forward to doing this again next year!

Be well all!

Mike Evans

Executive Director

The Ladybug Festival: Growing With SEAC at Wide Water Gardens (2022)

Miracle Grower Sponsor

Healthy Harvest Sponsor

Fertile Soil Sponsor

SEAC’s Summer of Opportunity Intern Drive Benefiting Dimitri House

A project I’ve given our SOOPers (what I’m calling our awesome summer interns) was to find a charity for SEAC to host a drive for. After the SOOPers look at SEAC’s Four Pillars of Focus, they decided to focus on homelessness and selected Dimitri House to benefit from our Drive.

My goal and hope with this initiative is it will teach them outreach, project management, community development, budgeting, inventorying, and give them (I hope) a sense of community and pride at helping others. Each SOOPer is designing their own flyer on Canva, which I will be showing off on our Facebook and Instagram page throughout the drive

In addition, I will be giving my SOOPers a budget of $300 to purchase needed supplies for Dimitri House.

You can drop off goods Monday July 25th through August 5th, Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm!

The supplies Dimitri House has requested are:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Shaving products
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap

We are looking forward to this initiative and community support which will make it a roaring success!

Thanks much and be well!

Mike Evans

Executive Director

The Ladybugs Festival: Growing with SEAC at Wide Water Gardens

SEAC and the Tool Shed announces family-friendly community festival at local community garden!

Rochester, N.Y. —    Featuring an array of area women-owned businesses, the South East Area Coalition’s  (SEAC) second annual Growing with SEAC at Wide Water Gardens has blossomed into a fun-filled family festival, now dubbed SEAC’s Ladybugs Festival.  Running today from 4-8 P.M at 345 Rosedale St.,  SEAC is thrilled to showcase their community partner, Wide Water Gardens, which has recently been granted  its permit by the City of Rochester.

Nestled behind the Culver Rd. Armory and a stone’s throw from Jeremiah’s Tavern, Wide Water Community Garden is graciously hosting  this free community cultivation event again this year. Celebrating women owned and led businesses and vendors, the Ladybugs Festival begins on Friday, July 15th from 4-8 P.M.  All residents of the Greater Rochester Area are welcome to this mini festival! Enjoy refreshments, music, fun and games- all sourced from the southeast part of the city and just beyond!

“Kids love to grow things, especially things they can eat,” said Kiki Smith, SEAC’s Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator. “We’ve got all kinds of activities to get   their hands off their devices and into their environment. I mean, who can resist baby goat yoga, face painting, and hunting for over 1500 live ladybugs?”  There’s plenty to engage kids of all ages- from chair massage to henna stains, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardeners  to soul readings, live music and painting among the flower beds, vintage jewelry, an octogenarian Greek bee keeper (and his honey),  Sticky Soul and BBQ, candied nuts, cookies, and cupcakes!

“We believe in empowering our community from the inside out.   That’s why we opened a comprehensive tool lending library for anyone in the Greater Rochester Area to borrow items to fix, create, maintain, and work.  With educational programming on the horizon, we   look forward to building strong partnerships with places like Veterans Outreach, Center for Youth, St. Michael’s Wood Shop and Youth Build,” said Mike Evans, SEAC’s Executive Director.

Meanwhile, SEAC continues to support small neighborhood projects and other nonprofits and community partners like Wide Water Gardens with their Community Engagement Funds, events, and programming. 

A “grassroots” initiative, the littered and vacant swath of land abutting 490 and the armory is now a thriving bed of botanical gems as well as a hub for merchant and trade recommendations, and friendly residential conversation. The 60 gardeners at WWG sew more than flowers and veggies; they grow our community.


Founded in 1968, The South East Area Coalition’s mission is to promote quality of life within Rochester’s south east area by connecting individuals and community partners to essential resources. Learn more at seacrochester.org

Welcome to Our SOOP Interns!

SEAC is super excited to be participating in the Summer of Opportunity Program (SOOP). We are happy to welcome our four new summer youths that will work along side the SEAC crew to get first hand work experience and engage with many Rochester communities at the Tool Shed.

Here’s to an awesome eight weeks with these cool youths!


I’m Benjamin and I like to ride dirt bikes and go out of town and I’m from Atlanta .


Hi my name is Brandon and I like fixing cars and playing football and basket ball.

Elijah Dobbs

My name is Elijah Dobbs and I and this year’s summer intern at the Tool Shed. I live by the Mt. Hope cemetery. I go to school of the arts, my major is orchestra and I play the violin. Also, I swim and play baseball for SOTA. My hobbies include photography and riding my bike around Rochester. In my spare time I run a lawn mowing business called the “Lawn Barber”. I look forward to helping make the city a better place to live one project at a time.


Rafael is 14 years old and is a rising sophomore at Hope Hall School in Gates.  His favorite subject in school is history and he hopes to join the US military upon graduating.  He is very helpful, respectful and polite.  In his free time he enjoys playing sports, video games and spending time with his friends.

Support SEAC’s Annual Appeal Today!

We hope we can count on your support for our Annual Appeal!

Dear SEAC Friends!

Happy heroes’ holiday season! With Memorial, Father’s, and Independence Days at hand, it’s time to celebrate the people, places, and things that make our community great!

You have probably heard by now about the exciting new Tool Shed SEAC has opened here in the city. Open to any resident in the Greater Rochester Area for a nominal annual fee of $25, this comprehensive and economical resource is literally and figuratively giving people the tools they need to make the changes they want. In just our first 60 days, we have enrolled 120 members, have done 347 completed, have saved Greater Rochestarians roughly $14,000 in tool purchases, and developed an inventory of 600 tools from clamps to chainsaws to pressure washers! Our Tool Shed program is a $54k investment for our Greater Rochester residents, businesses, and communities.

Not only did we launch an awesome program that we’re proud of, but we were busy making an impact in our service area as well!

None of this can happen without your generous financial support and dedication to making the southeast area the thriving tapestry of neighborhoods, businesses, and community organizations that it is. Our goal is to raise $10k through our Annual Appeal this year and we are hoping that you will donate so we can continue to deliver on our mission to promote quality of life within Rochester’s South East Area by connecting individuals and community partners to essential resources with exciting programs such as the Tool Shed.

Maybe you already have all the tools you will ever need but think SEAC’s Tool Shed is a brilliant idea. Whatever your reason, today is the perfect day to become our hero with a contribution to SEAC’s annual appeal! We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you and be well,

Mike Evans

Executive Director

Thanks to your generous support and willingness to invest in our community, SEAC has:

  • Made monetary donations to support a variety of charities making a positive impact on the lives of Rochestarians.
  • Moved our HQ to an accessible, historically preserved building on University Ave. near Culver Rd.
  • Partnered with Flower City Arts to take groups of middle school students on walking photography field trips around the South East Area.
  • Distributed 100 quadrant residents’ vouchers for their purchases of fresh produce at Foodlink’s Curbside Market.
  • Painted two adorable playful sidewalks on Field St to brighten the path to PS 35.
  • Provided diapers, wipes, and latex gloves to an emergency and pop-up childcare facility in Village Gate.
  • Distributed 150 hygiene bags with socks and toiletries to the Pearl Meigs NA’s Blessings Box program and an additional 100 to Saint Joe’s House of Hospitality.
  • Taught a gardening workshop for people with vision loss at area community garden, 490 Farmers.
  • Collected several hundred dollars’ worth of classroom supplies for PK-12 teachers in collaboration with the Pencils and Paper organization.
  • Engaged in several mini-Clean Sweeps in a variety of neighborhoods.
  • Assisted community partner Mount Hope World Singers with COVID-relief grant submission.
  • Secured four season permit for Wide Water Community Gardens.
  • Held a free community-building festival at Wide Water, one of our neighborhood community gardens.
  • Sent holiday cards to residents of Kirkhaven from dozens of cheer-filled southeast neighbors.
  • Provided insurance coverage for Wedge Waddle and participated in It’s a Wonderful Life in the Wedge events.
  • Hosted a fun, casual community-building event at neighborhood restaurant, Locals Only.
  • And so much more!

Thanks to Our New Ladybug Festival: Growing With SEAC at Wide Water Gardens (2022) Sponsors!

Our Ladybug Festival is fast approaching! Thanks to all our sponsors who have helped make this possible. We hope to see you there! July 15th from 4pm-8pm at Wide Water Gardens (345 Rosedale St, Rochester, NY 14620).

Health Harvest Sponsor

Click here to learn more about becoming a sponsor!

Thanks to all our wonderful sponsors! We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Tool Shed Success Stories

One of the many wonderful things about the Tool Shed is getting to hear community success stories and empowerment.

One of the Tool Shed’s members, Billie Lynn Holt, sent us pictures of the sunflower garden she just created! “I couldn’t have done this without the Tool Shed!”

Thanks so much Billie! Can’t wait to see the sunflowers!

Thanks to Our Ladybug Festival: Growing With SEAC at Wide Water Gardens (2022) Sponsors!

Our Ladybug Festival is fast approaching! Thanks to all our sponsors who have helped make this possible. We hope to see you there! July 15th from 4pm-8pm at Wide Water Gardens (345 Rosedale St, Rochester, NY 14620).

Click here to learn more about becoming a sponsor!

Miracle Grower Sponsor

Healthy Harvest Sponsor

Little Door Designs

Fertile Soil Sponsor