by Richard Tedeschi, Executive Director
What’s going on with Imagine Community Gardens (ICG) is very exciting!
First, our two garden sites in the City of Lockport continue to garner very supportive attention by residents, city officials, and the media for serving the neighborhoods they are in. In addition, we are noticing the surrounding neighborhoods are being transformed with better home maintenance and upkeep, less overt drug traffic resulting in more residents feeling safe to walk with their families and to socialize on their porches. Car and pedestrian traffic is increasing as it seems people are intentionally passing by the garden to look at it and “see what’s going on.” I was told recently of a landlord, who was renting one of their units with the comment, “And we have a beautiful community garden nearby that you can participate in.”
Our gardens are experiencing good resident involvement with a waiting list of residents. Our garden volunteers from The Chapel, Faith Tabernacle, and Refuge Temple of Christ have continued to bond and look forward to our new upcoming season and to continue with our First Fruits ™ and Community Choice ™ community give-back programs. At our recent orientation and training session hosted by Aqua Systems of WNY, we had a wonderful opportunity for all volunteers to meet each other and to learn about our new programs and guides, as well as our new garden installation at The Hope House.
The Hope House is our third community garden installation, located in the City of Buffalo at 586 Genesee St. It will include three of our signature H Garden Pods for a total of 15 garden planters and six Community Choice beds as well as landscaping, garden shed, pergola and picnic tables. A Master Gardener from the Erie County Cooperative Extension Service will join our trained female-only volunteers as they begin this distinctive ministry servicing the homeless women and their children. Plus, we have a culinary institute and a professional chef on board who will help train some of the women as well.
In addition, ICG is joining with premier area landscapers, educational institutions and businesses to install The Peace Garden, a passive arboretum-styled park with a walking path, raised beds, butterfly gardens, seating areas and barbecue on this site by July. This site will be transformed!
We are so thankful for what God has provided for us. As He continues to provide, we endeavor to put God’s love in action through our joint efforts. We truly appreciate what The Chapel has done to support us since inception as it has helped guide and support us as we develop our ministry. Praise God!
Editor’s note: If you would like to roll up your sleeves to help, please sign up for Love Serves that will take place on Saturday, April 25, or click on this link for Imagine Community Garden volunteer information.