Community garden in the works

Published 9:00 am Monday, January 2, 2012

Ironton city leaders and Ironton In Bloom members are working with officials from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky., to secure a grant from the hospital’s parent company, Bon Secours, to purchase land and create a community garden.

The grant would be used to purchase an empty lot and materials for the project. The lot would be divided into raised beds four feet wide and eight feet long; the beds would be assigned to city residents who can then grow vegetables or flowers in their plot.

“We think this just builds a sense of community,” IIB President Carol Allen said.

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“This has proven to be very, very successful in other places,” Ironton Economic Development Director Bill Dickens agreed.

The raised beds are an important consideration, Allen said, that will allow seniors citizens and others to enjoy getting out of doors and gardening even with physical limitations.

“A lot of people like to grow their own things but they can’t bend down easily,” she said.

Allen said its possible The Open Door School can grow plants in its greenhouse to sell to prospective gardeners, thus including special needs students in the project.

City leaders hope volunteers with gardening and carpentry skills will step forward to help construct the raised beds and walkways between them. Allen said she would like to see sheds placed on the property to store gardening tools.

City and local hospital officials hope to learn by late January if the Ironton garden project will be funded.