Working in close collaboration with the University of Georgia Horticulture Department, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB) and a number of other community partners, ALT will create two major “hub” gardens, which will serve as demonstration and teaching sites, and will help interested community groups to establish multiple satellite gardens throughout the community. The School Garden Committee was established as a sub-committee of the CGN in an effort to promote school gardens and engage the community in gardens at local schools.
Garnett Ridge, a mostly-Latino neighborhood in north Athens, has a very active Boys and Girls Club, which conducts a number of after-school and summer programs for youngsters. Both the unit director of the Boys and Girls Club there, as well as some Garnett Ridge residents, have gathered hefty harvests from their Community Garden, originally launched during the summer of 2011. Their 2012 cool season crops were particularly seed-catalogue worthy!
The backyard at Action Ministries has become home to a community garden for growing selected herbs and vegetables. Harvests from the garden will be utilized by the Community Kitchen and other hunger-solution programs offered by Action.
Tucked behind a picket fence in a sunny spot between buildings, the community garden at Riverwood Apartments may not be large, but it is bountiful and busy! Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and other crops have flourished. ALT held a CGN Workshop at the garden, and Riverwood gardeners have planned seasonal gatherings there for everyone to enjoy.
Guided by volunteers, the Athens Area Homeless Shelter Community Garden largely serves as an after-school source of activity and learning for children of homeless parents. The garden wraps itself snugly around two sides of the Homeless Shelter, enabling easy access, not just to planting, weeding, and watering with ease, but also to the enticing harvest of vegetables and herbs.
*ALT is currently looking for a volunteer to assist with the Athens Area Homeless Shelter Garden. Please contact Stephanie Bergamo, Garden Assistant with the Athens Land Trust for more information.
Reverend Bascoe Jackson Community Garden
at Hill Chapel Baptist Church
Hill Chapel Baptist Church is a predominately African-American church with a 100-year history in the West Hancock community. Pastor Michael Gerald met with ALT in the fall of 2010 with the idea of establishing a community garden with an outdoor education and worship space. Church members attended the spring 2011 “Starting a Community Garden Workshop” series at ALT and began planning the garden. The garden’s first planting was in April of 2011. The vegetables, grown communally, are shared among the garden members, the community members who receive weekly meals from the church, and the neighbors.
*Hill Chapel Baptist Church is currently looking for volunteers to assist with their ongoing Community Garden projects.
Please contact Hill Chapel’s Diane Easley at (706)248-1978 for more information.
Athena Gardens Community Garden
With the corporate sponsorship of US Lawns and the help of many volunteers, a community garden was established at the Athena Gardens Retirement Community in March of 2012. Residents of Athena Gardens cooperatively share responsibility for managing their fourteen 4′ x 20′ raised beds and regularly enjoy the harvest of their garden through communal meals prepared in the facility’s kitchen.
Athens Community Council on Aging Gardens
The gardens at the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA) have been expanded, thanks to many volunteer hours by UGA Service Ambassadors, Horticulture students, LEAD Athens, and volunteers during MLK Day of Service and Green Day of Service 2012. A once-abandoned parking lot is now home to 18 raised containers in which produce is grown for ACCA’s Meals on Wheels, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and other programs. The Intergenerational Garden at ACCA is still thriving. Produce from it goes to Center for Active Living (CAL plus) participants, especially the Garden Club members. ALT staff member, Stephanie Bergamo, assists both of the ACCA Gardens and guides ACCA’s garden volunteers.
With over 10 years of history under its belt, the Mae Willie Morton Community Garden of the Brooklyn Neighborhood is widely recognized as one of the oldest community gardens in Athens. The garden, formerly located across the street from its present location, now thrives upon the site of a former drug house that was subsequently razed. The site was donated to the neighborhood by the Housing Authority in 2006. In a place where undesirable activities once were rampant, now, flowers and vegetables grow rampantly – in a fruitful way for all.
Pinewood Community Garden
With the support of Master Gardener Brendan Nordgren and Pinewood Library’s Branch Director Aida Quinones, Master Gardener Helen Kuykendall and ALT’s Stephanie Bergamo coordinated and led a Junior Master Gardener Golden Ray Series program. More than 40 Pinewood youth received Certificates of Recognition in the program and the group of young gardeners as a whole, known as the Pinewood Green Rangers, received a Certificate of Completion.