JAMESTOWN – There’s a Community Garden renaissance happening in Jamestown. More than two dozen local groups, organizations, schools and agencies are involved in some way, shape or form with community gardening projects throughout the Chautauqua Region. In addition to Jamestown, there have also been projects taking place in Dunkirk, Pine Valley and Sherman.
The local gardening effort is being spear-headed by the Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play initiative, a state program administered by the Chautauqua County Health Network. Earlier this week, CCHN hosted an update meeting with various individuals involved with gardening projects this growing season.
Among those in attendance was Peter Lombardi of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation. Lombardi said the JRC’s effort to create three community gardening spots in three different neighborhoods is going will, with a total of 42 gardening beds being leased by local residents.
“We spent much of the spring identifying sights, entering into lease agreements with property owners, installing these 42 beds and right now they are all leased, they are mostly in production and no incidents so far,” Lombardi explained.
The Resource Center is also getting in on the gardening program. The TRC’s Lee Hoffman said several residents are helping with various in-house projects, as well as volunteering their time to help other gardening initiatives, including the ones in the Jamestown School District that need attention while school is out.
“Our folks are volunteering to water the gardens at the Washington Middle School during the summer months. Obviously that is a purposeful community activity for people with developmental disabilities, and like all of us that’s what they are looking for. To find purpose and meaning in their day and to be part of the Jamestown community. This has been a tremendous opportunity for the Resource Center to do that.”
Other groups also involved in the community garden initiative are Lutheran Social Services, the Foster Grandparents program, BOCES, Chautauqua Opportunities, the St. Susan Center, Chautauqua County Rural Ministries, the Chautauqua County Health Department, and the Chautauqua County Master Gardeners program – along with several others.
Chautauqua County Creating Healthy Places is a five year initiative funded by the New York State Department of Health to prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
In addition to the gardening efforts, the initiative is also providing assistance to two farmers markets in Jamestown, the Lillian Dickson Park renovation effort, and the pedestrian and bicycle improvement plan. Anyone interested in learning more can go online to cchn.net or call 338-0010. The community gardening effort was also the focus of our most recent Community Matters program.
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