HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sowing seeds -- that's what a group of volunteers is doing in Huntington's Fairfield neighborhood.
That community often gets a bad rap for its high crime rate and dilapidated, abandoned buildings. But one group is sowing seeds of love, seeds of beauty and seeds of hope.
Michael Smith has lived in the Fairfield neighborhood off of Charleston Avenue for several years.
“It’s a nice community," he said. "If they would just fix it up a bit, it would be even better.”
But he admits it could use a facelift.
“Look right there," he said during his interview with NewsChannel 3. "There are beer bottles and a pizza box in the grass.”
That's why empty lots similar to that throughout parts of Huntington’s Weed and Seed Crime Prevention Zone are now targets for community gardens -- literally removing the weeds and spreading seeds of opportunity.
“This is the first garden. It will be a learning garden,” Jennifer Williams said.
Williams is a volunteer for Weed and Seed. She's helping to spearhead the community garden that will meet the needs of many.
“We’ll have an herb garden, a produce garden, a children’s garden and a 4-foot high garden for people with disabilities in wheelchairs, or for seniors who can’t stoop over," Williams said. "But what we really want to do is offer produce to people who live in the Weed and Seed areas so they can have fresh vegetables."
But planting a wide range of gardens is just part of this plan. Local master gardeners and agencies want to plant seeds of education, teaching folks how to plant gardens of their own. It's a work in progress that will celebrate a big opening on Earth Day, which is April 22.
“We want to teach kids about how to take care of the Earth,” Williams said.
The crime intervention portion of Weed and Seed, or the weed part, is covered by a federal grant. But the seeding of new opportunities depends largely on the generosity of volunteers. The program is currently looking for corporate sponsors. That money will help purchase supplies for the gardens.
For more information, visit the Weed and Seed Community Gardens Web site at: http://www.huntingtoncommunitygardens.com/
WEB EXTRA: Below, find a list of supplies needed for the Weed and Seed Community Gardens:
500 pieces of 4x4x10 pieces of treated lumber
Heavy Duty plastic to line the beds
Roofing Tar to protect the inside of the beds from water
24 rolls of burlap garden fabric
A gazebo or Gazebo kit
Planters and flower pots of all sizes and shapes
60D nails (as many as possible)
We could use or borrow or rent the following:
sledgehammer, drill bit extension, ¼”, ½”, ¾” and 1” drill bits, circular saw, saw horses
These are the items that the Weed and Seed program will need long term:
Here is a list of items and resources we could use for the Barnett Center.
1. Landscape timbers – as many as possible
2. Railroad Ties – as many as possible
3. Bricks – as many as possible
4. Cinder blocks – as many as possible
5. A gazebo – or gazebo kit (just one, but we would like to have it before Earth day to beautify the landscape
6. Metal roofing – for back patio area
7. Kitchen cabinets – countertops – sink – wooden or concrete steps
8. Rota tillers
9. Sacks of Quikrete
10. Wooden flower boxes
11. Garden stepping stones – tiles
12. Landscape edging
13. Fencing – decorative not chain link
14. Wooden barrels
15. Solar powered outdoor fountain or water element
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