The Community Garden Network has delivered on its commitment to establish a network of community gardens in low-income communities, and is currently comprised of 15 community gardens, 22 school gardens and two major “hub” gardens that serve as demonstration and teaching sites.
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.
Salvation Army H.O.P.E. Garden
The Salvation Army H.O.P.E. Garden has been in operation since May of 2014. With the help of the Athens Land Trust, UGA, the Master Gardeners Association and several other organizations/groups, we are able to seasonally provide home grown food for our community soup kitchen offered every night at 5pm. We are currently accepting individual volunteers to help weed, water, harvest, and plant as well as large groups for new and ongoing projects. Please contact our office directly for volunteer opportunities and/or a tour. 706-543-5350.
The CARE Garden of AIDS Athens
We have had the pleasure this spring/summer of helping AIDS Athens launch their new community garden, known as The Care Garden. The first of several garden container installation sessions took place in mid-April with Patrick Reilly, other AIDS Athens staff and volunteers, and an Athens Land Trust intern. The group assembled four garden containers, the sides of which had been previously constructed off-site by Patrick and a similar troupe of assistants, under the guidance of garden container wizard, Chris McDowell.
Since then, The Care Garden has grown in more ways than one. Additional containers have been installed and crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squashes, and watermelons have flourished. Garden benches and several vertical planters have been constructed out of pallets. During weekly gatherings in the Garden, the vegetables and herbs are tended and, on occasion, a class is held when schedules and weather allow.
None are yet daunted by the local groundhog that defoliated the sweet potato vines, for the community is dedicated to its Garden and the many fruits that can be reaped from it on many levels.
Interfaith Hospitality Networks nationwide bring “the faith community together to help families regain their housing, their independence, and their dignity.” In keeping with that goal, The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens (IHNA) nurtures vegetables and ornamental flowers in its Fresh Start Community Garden. Snapdragons and Pinks (Dianthus) adorn raised garden containers which also house seasonal vegetables. Early in 2013, oak leaf lettuce, radishes, edible pod peas, and spinach flourished amongst the flowers. Summer 2013 has brought a small profusion of peppers, cucumbers, and squash
*The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, Inc., welcomes volunteers for its Fresh Start Community Garden.
Please contact Ken Sherman, IHNA Executive Director, (706) 425-1881.
Garnett Ridge Community Garden
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!
One Community Garden
One Community Garden is a venue uniting Young Harris Memorial UMC and Action Ministries to the local community through mobilizing an urban population to sustainably utilize untapped, urban resources for the benefit of those facing food insecurity in Athens. The garden is located in the front lawn of Young Harris Memorial UMC at 973 Prince Ave. For those interested in volunteering, having a space to garden or just visiting, contact Drew Hooks at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Riverwood Apartments Community Garden
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.
*Riverwood Apartments seeks volunteers to assist with its ongoing Community Garden projects.
Please contact Tony Oscar, Manager, at (706)353-2879 or email@example.com.
Athens Area Homeless Shelter Community Garden
*The Athens Area Homeless Shelter (AAHS) is hosting regular Community Garden Volunteer opportunities. Opportunities can be scheduled Tuesdays,Thursdays, and Saturdays. Experienced and non-experienced folks are all welcome; individuals and groups are encouraged to participate as fits their needs and schedules.
To sign up for volunteering with the AAHS and their lovely Community Garden, please visit: http://helpathenshomeless.org/home/volunteer.
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.
Athena Gardens Community Garden Produce Wash Stand
Athena Gardens Community Garden resident manager, Deborah Colella, and maintenance staff person, Mike Fortney, felt inspired when they saw the produce wash station at our West Broad Market Garden last year. Subsequently, Deborah and Mike assembled a very colorful and functional station at Athena, which in turn is an inspiration for us!
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.
Mae Willie Morton Community Garden
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.