Volunteers worked through the morning Friday to clear a newly-donated plot of land. The goal is to grow and provide free fruits and vegetables to neighbors near 18th Street and Atkinson Avenue.
“So we can have everybody in some of the lower income communities being able to come out, plant a garden, plant what they want to eat, and just come and pick what they want to eat,” said Sandra Blakenship, a member of Killeen Creators.
The plan was crafted by the non-profit group Killeen Creators. Part of the group's work is to aid those who suffer from food insecurity.
Volunteers have already put up two other community gardens in the city. The newest plot was donated by the family of Killeen-native Ramon Alvarez.
Part of the purpose in that location is also to help with residents who, Alvarez said, do not have grocery stores nearby.
“So community gardens play an even greater role and become that much more vital in areas like this,” he said.
The garden’s visibility in the community also acts as a way to recruit neighbors to help with upkeep.
“People see what’s going on, they take an interest,” Melvin Brown, volunteer said. “They see how it’s going to benefit them and they volunteer to work in the gardens.”
At the moment Killen Creators is asking for monetary donations to help with clean-up costs. Volunteers are also in need of topsoil, compost, mulch, and wood for garden beds.
“Whether they’re homeowners fixing up their homes, a coat of paint, a new roof, fixing a broken window or infield development,” Alvarez said. “Lots that have been vacant for a long time, I think all those things together will kind of help bring these areas back up.”
The link to donate can be found here.
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