Fairview Community Garden
by Dorothy Johnson
I am the chairman of the Fairview Community Watch Group in Hillsborough. N.C. At one time our community was full of drugs, prostitution and loud music. It was hard to get a good night’s rest. The community watch worked with the police Department along with other neighbors and cleaned our community up, on the other hand we worked and struggled for over 20 years for our park. Now we have a safe, quiet and 98% drug free community, we can rest at night and we have a beautiful park where family can go walk, play, and have fun together.
It was all about getting the community to come together as a family, supporting each other, sharing with each other, and reaching out with love to neighbors. The Self Development of People (SDOP) grant that we were blessed to receive in February 2012 helped us to do just that. We made flyers and passed them in the neighborhood to let residents know that we had different events going on in the park with the grant we were able to purchase sports equipment, games and a secure metal bin for storage. We were able to hire an adult monitor and two teenage monitor assistants to distribute equipment and help with games 3 days a week from June 12 thru August 11, 2012 and stipends for two Fairview members who managed and planned the programs. And we had our garden.
The process to revitalize the Fairview Community garden continued throughout the Spring and Summer of 2012. The original group of garden members participated in regular garden workdays to improve the infrastructure of the garden while also panning and harvesting vegetables. We were able to enjoy green beans, lima beans, tomatoes, hot peppers, kale, greens, bell peppers, and watermelons. Oh, I almost forgot the beets and we shared with other senior and other neighbors that weren’t able to get out.
The SDOP grant provided funds to purchase material for improvements to this garden including the boxing in of raised beds, fence repair and additional garden oil. In August 2012 an instructor and class from Durham Community College, Hillsborough visited the garden to initiate their involvement in assessing best strategies and working with the garden team to install a solar pump and irrigation system for the garden, to be purchased using funds from SDOP grant.
On August 25, 2012, we had a neighborhood celebration for the ending of our summer program. About 80 people or more from the community came out to share in the fun, food and fellowship. Kids and families enjoyed playing games of bingo, kickball, egg toss, hula hoops, golf for young children, and a piñata. Back to school supplies were given to all the children who attended that day. Everyone enjoyed an evening meal of pizza, watermelon, fruits and vegetables and you know we had some desserts. Family, friends and church members helped the Fairview Forward team with contributions of supplies and also helped with organizing the games and activities on that day. Thanks again for the grant, it was truly a blessing. Thank God for you and may God richly bless you always. Thank you!
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