Community garden comes to Menlo Park

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A group in Chattanooga converted a plot of land, which was once considered an eye sore, into a community garden.

Tynescha Bailey looked at the new community garden in the Menlo Park neighborhood. She’s lived here for 17 years and says this is a welcomed surprise.

“For a longtime this has really been a sore thumb since they tore down the old property that was here. So it just made the community a little bit better because the old residents, they have always tried to keep this area up, so it just looks really, really nice,” Bailey said.

Shane Morrow, with RISE Chattanooga, helped make Ancestral Roots possible. The group started with a small fund, found a landscaping service and gained support from neighbors.

“What could we do to bring more awareness to the community, but also be able to unite the community. Had this opportunity to get this lot through rise and we went ahead and decided right then and there that this would be a great pilot program in bringing people together,” Morrow said.

Organizers say someone will be paid to properly maintain the area once a month. The plan is for a master gardener to come speak to residents about the benefits of having a community garden.

“This is just a small start and I think that that is one of our missions with Rise to make sure that we collectively rise together in making sure that we are piece by piece helping our community,” Morrow said.

Bailey is excited to see the growth and what this all means for her neighbors.

“They can pick from it and they can have a little bit more pride in their community. So I love it,” Bailey said.

There will be a celebration for the first harvest in the summer.

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