SNELLVILLE – Last week the Community Garden @ Snellville was awarded a 2020 Food Well Alliance Community Garden Improvement Grant of $1,500.
“We are extremely appreciative to the Food Well Alliance for their financial backing to community gardens throughout the Atlanta metro area,” said Master Gardner Wes Nettleton, who was instrumental in securing the grant. “Through this effort we can support the local area and expand our opportunities to educate both young and old about the environment.”
The garden, sandwiched between T.W. Briscoe Park and the city’s Recycling Center on Marigold Road, will use the funds needed for equipment, such as hoses, hose nozzles, shovels and another wheelbarrow. It will also be used to add gutter, a downspout and rain barrel to pavilion for water conservation; for lighting in the greenhouse, including general illumination and LED grow lights; for temperature sensors to monitor and maintain temperatures needed in the winter for cold-intolerant plants; to supplies needed to grow plants in the greenhouse, including seeds and organic fertilizer; and to build another demonstration bed in the garden to be used for teaching purposes.
While the garden is on city land, it is fully self-supporting through garden rental fees from users and twice annual plant sales. The $1,500 will go a long way to help promote urban gardening and a strong Snellville community, according to garden organizer and Councilwoman Gretchen Schulz.
“We have many neighborhoods in the city that are quite wooded, which means those homeowners have a difficult time growing vegetables and flowers that require full sun,” Schulz said. “The garden provides a place where those homeowners who enjoy gardening can grow sun-loving plants. The garden also provides a source of physical exercise as well as a relief for the stresses and anxiety of daily life. People are often happier when in a surrounding with plants and nature. It's hard not to feel happy when at the Community Garden surrounded by colorful plants as well as bees and butterflies flying from plant to plant. I feel the garden is one of Snellville's hidden jewels."
The Community Garden @Snellville was created in 2012 when the City Council took a former all-purpose field and installed 10 garden beds. Today the Community Garden has expanded to 48 raised beds rented on an annual basis and manages a 40-by-20-foot greenhouse. The garden grows vegetables, flowers and herbs in their greenhouse and offers them for sale at nominal rates at both spring and fall plant sales in conjunction with the Snellville Farmers’ Market. The garden grows and donates vegetables on a weekly basis to the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op. The garden also provides educational seminars and events for young people, including classes from South Gwinnett High School.
The Food Well Alliance is a collaborative network of Atlanta area metro leaders working together to build thriving community gardens and urban farms. Since 2015, the Alliance has invested $185,000 directly into 90 community gardens across Clayton, Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties through its Community Garden Grant.
For more information on the Community Garden @Snellville visit www.snellvillecommunitygarden.com/