With grant funding, Keep Jackson Beautiful reinstalls a community garden.
Keep Jackson Beautiful (KJB), in Jackson, Mississippi, received a Keep America Beautiful/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant to support the Jackson Community Garden Initiative. The mission of the initiative is to influence a healthy, vibrant, and educated urban gardening community built on a robust and diverse economy rooted in sustainable and ecological sound practices of production, distribution, and consumption. With funds received from the grant, this initiative will create a community garden and two permaculture orchards.
For Make a Difference Day, celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday of October, KJB broke ground and re-installed the community garden in the Westside Community. It was previously a garden over 8 years ago, but was paved over to create parking spaces for the Head Start Center. Receiving the Lowe’s Community Partners Grant made it possible to fulfill a promise to bring back a garden for the community.
More than 25 volunteers participated in the garden installation. Volunteers included members of the Westside Community (Westside Civic Club and Veteran), KJB Eco Ambassadors, Wingfield High School’s Agriculture class, Jackson State University students, board members, and local Lowe’s Heroes. During phase one of the installation, volunteers built four raised beds, as well as tilled additional rows for traditional gardening and hauled soil to the raised beds. Produce planted at the site included; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, cabbage and brussel sprouts along with five fruit trees. Phase two installation will take place in the spring to include seating, arches, planting of edible flowers and in season produce.
KJB said it is very excited to be able to assist the Westside Community in using the garden as an education and outreach tool for the youth, as well as provide local nutrient rich produce at no cost.
“It’s so rewarding to see the community wrap around a project that is so instrumental to our life. There was so much laughter and happiness installing the garden from the youngest who was four to the oldest in their eighties,” said Keep Jackson Beautiful Executive Director Alicia Crudup.
KJB would like to give special thanks to Lowe’s, which has shown continued dedication and support of the garden initiative for several years. KJB would also like to thank its partners at Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Jackson’s Parks and Recreation, and Infrastructure Department. In addition, they also are appreciative of Hutto’s Home and Garden for donating the fruit trees, and Rivers Green House and Garden for the donation of transplants.