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Franklinton Gardens awarded grant money
The Greater Columbus Arts Council awarded over $10,000 in funding to various community projects through the Franklin County Neighborhood Arts Program.
Of those funds, $800 will be granted to the Franklinton Gardens for their upcoming mural project.
The gardens, in partnership with the Franklinton Arts District, will create two large murals at their Avondale Garden site, located at 290 Avondale Ave. The murals will be created on July 16 and 23.
Garden staff, volunteers, and interns will be on-site to offer fresh organic product samples from the garden, as well as gardening tips for those interested in learning more about gardening and sustainable living.
On July 23, Avondale Garden will host a benefit to celebrate the completion of the murals and raise additional funding. The artists will be available to discuss their work and there are plans for several live bands to perform.
“It’s wonderful that they’re even doing a project like that,” said Druelton Bagley, Greater Hilltop Area Commissioner and Westside Community Health Advisory Committee member. “It engages the community, and it’s an opportunity for strangers to meet neighbors.”
The Franklinton Gardens were started in 2007 by a group of family and residents who wanted to come together with their neighbors to grow their own food, and to share the benefits of community gardening.
“We recognized that most of our neighbors don’t have access to fresh, healthy food,” Co-Director of the Franklinton Gardens Patrick Kaufman said. “There isn't a grocery store in the neighborhood, and many don’t have access to reliable forms of transportation to be able to drive to communities surrounding Franklinton to the grocery stores.”
Kaufman estimates that, between their four gardens, they produced over 2,500 pounds of organic produce last year, which was distributed to residents in the community, as well as to local food pantries.
With the addition of the four new gardens this year, their goal is to grow over 7,500 pounds of produce to share with the community.
All of the gardens are situated on plots of land that were once vacant properties.
“We could utilize more of these vacant houses being town down and put (the land) to better use,” Bagley said. “(The space) could be utilized to grow food for people in the community. It’s cheaper to get seeds and grow your own.”
Kaufman encourages community residents to get involved. The gardens welcome service organizations, youth groups and offices to come to the gardens to help during the week.
Franklinton Area Commission Chair Carol Stewart enjoys seeing the community come together for events like the mural project.
“It’s a positive for the neighborhood,” Stewart said.
The Franklinton Arts District is calling for artists in the community to contact them if they are interested in collaborating on one of the murals. Kaufman said they are searching for local artists and ideas for the project; however, they know the theme that they want to promote.
“We have a vision of a just and peaceable Franklinton,” Kaufman said. “One that’s complete with safe streets, fair housing, equality, healthy food access and ideas including environmental sustainability.”
|On May 10, 2011 said:
Congrats Christina! This article inspires me to try some community gardening... I can't believe this has been going on since 2007, and I am just now hearing about it.
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