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Gardening The Community Breaks New Grounds on Walnut St.

Gardening The Community

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Volunteers were working hard today to build a new community garden in Springfield. More than 50 people were apart of the process.

On Saturday, a food justice organization called Gardening The Community began the transformation process of a vacant lot on Walnut Street.

“Today is huge.Today is the day that we basically are breaking grounds so to speak on our new land. It’s been a long time coming. We fought long and hard to get permanent land,” said Ruby Maddox, the Co-Founder of Gardening The Community. “This deal with the city is going to make it possible to make permanent changes and grow more food inside the city.”

The organization received more than $30,000 to make significant, sustainable progress towards food security in Springfield.

“It was a lot worse than what you see now. The grass was probably as tall as I am. It took a lot of work to flatten it down,” said worker Dondre Scott.

In an effort to explore other healthy food options, the organization cut down old tree limbs and knocked down a small office. Younger children also got in on the action.

“This is how you build the community. This is how you start a strong community,” said Youth Coordinator Mabeline Velez. “The youth that are here right now are super excited about that. It’s a new stage and working together from the scratch and seeing it build and become a dream come true.”

The younger children may not have a full understanding of what the garden will do, but they do know one thing the garden will bring…

“I want tomatoes!” said five-year-old Evan O’Gilvie.

The group hopes the new farm stand will promote economic sustainability. They have been turning deserted lots into gardens for the past 12 years. This is a way to bring back healthy foods to communities that aren’t as close to grocery stores.

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