Text of Athens GA Community Garden Article
- Subject: [cg] Text of Athens GA Community Garden Article
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 12:39:14 EDT
Community garden restores hope to once-vibrant Athens neighborhood
By Kimberly E. Mock
Andrew Pearson of Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, left, and
neighborhood resident Bernice Jones prepare soil for a community garden in the Brooklyn
neighborhood in Athens.
arbara Sims remembers a long-overgrown garden as the vibrant social center
of the Brooklyn community in Athens where she grew up.
Now, after years of fighting drugs and crime along its streets and vacant
lots, a garden in the community again will grow, as neighborhood residents and
Athens-Clarke County work to build one of the first community gardens in the
city on Bazzelle Avenue.
Andrew Pearson, Athens water conservation coordinator, said the idea to
place a community garden in the Brooklyn community developed from a meeting of
officials affiliated with Greenfest, a series of events in Athens that promotes
environmental improvement at work and home.
Pearson said the group wanted to help build better communities throughout
Athens by incorporating a national project called Community Gardens here in
the Classic City.
''We wanted to do something to help better the community,'' and we chose
to do community gardens, said Pearson. ''The idea is to help get the project
started, and then give it to the community for them to take ownership of it.
This is the pilot year for the program, but once you get one built, it will grow
across the county.''
Pearson said the Brooklyn community was chosen to host the first garden
because its residents had the heartiest response to the program.
County volunteers as well as community residents are working to build the
garden, which will feature a variety of vegetables, flowers and plants in nine
beds on Bazzelle Avenue.
Greenfest planning committee chairman Nancy Lindbloom said the project's
success in the Brooklyn community should help it be established in other urban
neighborhoods across Athens.
A pair of gardening gloves sits on the edge of what will be a flowerbed as
part of the garden off Bazzelle Avenue. Neighborhood residents and
Athens-Clarke County volunteers are working together to create one of the first community
gardens in the city.
''Gardening is a relaxing way to exercise and enjoy being outdoors for many
people,'' Lindbloom said of why the program is successful. ''It also helps
bring neighbors together - and it really is the embodiment of the community. It
represents hope in the community ... and it will beautify the community. But
also it's allowing people to work together to beautify their neighborhood.''
Lindbloom said the Brooklyn garden was made possible through many
donations, including a donation of the lot as well as plants and materials to build
the garden's beds.
Lindbloom said the project isn't done yet, as the garden needs a proper
fence and a tool shed, as well as monetary donations to help cover watering
costs for the garden.
But the fact the garden is even in place is deemed a miracle by Sims, who
said she hopes it will bring people out of their homes and into the community
''Five years ago, you couldn't have rode up and down this street because
of all the drugs,'' Sims said. ''Hopefully, this garden will bring about a
unity among this community, and we think it will be (an) improvement here.''
Tax-refundable donations for the Brooklyn community garden project are being
accepted by check at the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. Additional
information on the Athens Community Gardens project can be obtained by called Nancy
Lindbloom at (706) 549-4720 or online at www.communitygarden.org.
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Saturday, May 17, 2003.
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