Community gardens program launches in Wilshire Estates - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City's community gardens program launches

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Students from nearby Windsor Forest High School will help tend the garden. (Source: City of Savannah) Students from nearby Windsor Forest High School will help tend the garden. (Source: City of Savannah)
The Wilshire Estates Community Garden will be located on a vacant City-owned lot. (Source: City of Savannah) The Wilshire Estates Community Garden will be located on a vacant City-owned lot. (Source: City of Savannah)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Several vacant lots around the city could soon become community gardens thanks to a new program.

City and neighborhood leaders on Monday kicked off a community garden program. The city has identified more than 450 publicly owned vacant lots that could serve as community gardens, according to the city.

The event officially granted permission to the Wilshire Estates Neighborhood Association to turn a vacant city-owned lot on Largo Drive into a raised-bed garden filled with blueberries, mushrooms, squash, okra, corn and other vegetables.

"Creating a community garden both beautifies the neighborhood and contributes to the health of the residents," said Alderman Tony Thomas, who represents the Wilshire neighborhood, in a statement. "Our hope is that other associations across the City will step up and take similar action across the community."

In 2012, the Savannah City Council adopted a new policy that allows residents or nonprofit organizations to enter into an agreement with the City to develop raised-bed gardens on lots deemed appropriate for use.

"We really would like of course, the neighborhood, the people involved in the garden to have fresh vegetables, eat nutritiously and really gain a sense of community ownership over a project," said Carol Moon, of the city's Real Property Services Dept. "And it benefits the city as well because it's a vacant lot that it is here and it reduces the blight that may be caused on such things as vacant properties."

Students from Windsor Forest High School, which has its own garden, will help residents build and maintain the garden. Leaders with the Savannah Urban Garden Alliance will provide technical guidance.

Residents interested in creating their own community garden can contact Carol Moon at 912.651.6524 or email her at cmoon@savannahga.gov or go to www.savannahga.gov/garden

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