A new community garden is about to bloom, since Florence City Council handed over its approval to organizers and a roomful of local gardeners at Monday nightís regular meeting.
Katya Reyna, a graduate student working for the city as a RARE participant, and Joann Henderson, longtime Florence resident and a representative of Florence First Harvest, presented the proposal for gardens at the former site of the Senior Booster Center at Airport Road and 15th Street.
With the councilís approval, gardeners hope to be growing by summer, at no cost to the city.
Reyna said that no staff time would be required and the entire project would be volunteer-driven. Reyna would be the project manager through August, at which time she would ensure the gardens were sustainable before her departure from the RARE program.
RARE, Resource Assistance for Rural Environments, is a graduate student program funded by AmeriCorps in which participants live and work in a rural community for a year to help improve environmental and economic conditions.
Florence First Harvest collaborated with other groups in the past to build a community garden by the United Methodist Church. In conjunction with the Florence Rotary Club and member David Armstrong and Florence Food Share, the sustainable food-centered group built 35 raised beds at the church, each managed by a Florence resident. The gardens have become a staple for many and are so popular there is a waiting list for the beds. That prompted Armstrong and others to seek more options.
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