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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 
Growing together 

By Kimberly E. Mock 
kmock@onlineathens.com 

 
 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. 
R.C. Rique/Staff  
 
   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.
R.C. Rique/Staff  
''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 
once again.
   ''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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