Community Gardens Program Launched


Bonnie Harris of the Wilshire Estates Neighborhood Association addresses the Monday news conference.
Bonnie Harris of the Wilshire Estates Neighborhood Association addresses the Monday news conference.

City and neighborhood leaders on Monday helped kick off a new program that could turn dozens of vacant lots into thriving community gardens throughout Savannah.

Monday’s event, which coincided with Earth Day, officially granted permission to the Wilshire Estates Neighborhood Association to turn a vacant City-owned lot on Largo Drive into a raisedbed garden filled with blueberries, mushrooms, squash, okra, corn, and other vegetables.

“Creating a community garden both beautifies the neighborhood and contributes to the health of the residents,” said Alderman Tony Thomas, who represents the Wilshire neighborhood. “Our hope is that other associations across the City will step up and take similar action across the community.”

The City has identified more than 450 publicly owned vacant lots that could potentially serve as community gardens. Last year, City Council adopted a new policy that allows residents or nonprofit organizations to enter into an agreement with the City to develop raised-bed gardens on lots deemed appropriate for use.

This City Council took a stand and said we want every lot to be viable in every neighborhood in Savannah,” Mayor Edna Branch Jackson said. “We want to see gardens all over town. Thank you Wilshire residents for being the visionaries to get this started.”

Students from the nearby Windsor Forest High School, which has its own garden, will help residents build and maintain the garden. Leaders with the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance will provide technical expertise.

Residents interested in creating their own community garden should contact Carol Moon with the City’s Real Property Services Department at 651-6524 or cmoon@savannahga.gov, or go to www.savannahga.gov/ garden


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