HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 25, 2015 – Fresh food and community – these two things made an impact on the West End neighborhood on Sept. 24, when ground was broken on the Bountiful Harvest Community Garden in a part of High Point that is considered a food desert.
High Point University graduate and AmeriCorps VISTA Anna Mahathey worked with a group of 11 residents in the West End Community for the past year creating plans for a sustainable community garden. Now, the vision has become a reality.
“What I found was that people really wanted to cook with fresh vegetables – peppers, corn, tomatoes,” Mahathey said. “That was a desire they had, and there are no stores or markets in the area that offer that.”
Hundreds of West End neighborhood residents and members of the city of High Point attended the ground breaking to support the community effort and said they have high hopes for this garden.
“I think this garden is going to bring people closer together and make residents of the neighborhood aware of everyone that is around them,” said Carla Neal, a resident of the West End community. “This will make our bond as a community a lot stronger, and the food that this garden will provide is going to make a huge difference in many people’s lives.”
“This is a true example of community coming together,” said Chris Gillespie, executive director of West End Ministries. “The West End community residents really stepped up to make this project happen and without them, this would not be possible. High Point University, the City of High Point, West End Ministries, the list goes on and on of people who have contributed to this project. I know myself and the residents of the West End neighborhood are eternally grateful.”
About the Garden:
Mahathey assisted in the development of the leadership team that will manage the garden. She worked for nearly one year to find land central to the West End community, obtain it, clear it and prep it. Thanks to the neighborhood’s efforts, the property, which was overgrown and in bankruptcy, is now part of a pilot program with the City of High Point that allows West End Ministries to lease it for $1 per year, but turn ownership of managing the garden over to residents.
The garden will allow families to rent some plots of land for a low price, while others will be able to join in sharing and caring for the overall garden.
The Master Gardener program through the NC Cooperative Extension will offer master gardener courses to help community members develop strategies for maintaining the garden year-round.
The Bountiful Harvest Garden continues to see donors support its grand vision. Donations can be sent to:
West End Ministries
PO Box 2163
High Point NC 27261
Memo: Bountiful Harvest Community
Current benefactors to this project are:
High Point University
City of High Point
West End Ministries
Duke Energy Foundation
High Point Community against Violence