Southside Community Garden
The Southside Community Garden followed in 2014. The 20 plots in the Southside Community Garden was developed to meet the needs of this neighborhood who came together to grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs, on common ground. The Southside Neighborhood Association along with Family Service of the Piedmont (Fairview Family Resource Center), Fairview Elementary School, Guilford County Health Department, NC Cooperative Agriculture Extension Master Gardeners and the City of High Point (Parks and Recreation and Community Development & Housing Department) collaborated to make a dream come true for the neighborhood.
The gardens served as a catalyst for bringing people together and improving the neighborhood. The garden committee was successful this year by selling 20 out of 20 plots. The garden also help build a stronger neighborhood, taught life skills, allowed residents to save money, promoted healthy living habits and much more. The Neighborhood Association was able to harvest over 100 pounds of collard greens, lettuce, mustard greens, kale, and sweet potatoes the first year, under the leadership of the garden coordinator and his family. This family is the reason the garden was so successful. They had the passion to do the work and made sure fresh produce was available to anyone who needed it. One plot was used to give fruits and vegetables to a shelter and neighbors in need.
Fairview Family Resource Center brought several plots for the youth to learn about gardening and healthy living and harvest an abundant of fruits and vegetables. The gardens serve as an outside classroom for the youth attending the Fairview Family Resource Center.
High Point LEAP partnered with the Southside Community Garden in 2017. They rented 10 plots in the Southside Community Garden, which was half the garden space. LEAP’s Americorps Vista staff attended several High Point garden leader meetings to learn more about gardening and to find available volunteers. They reached out to the NC Cooperative Extension office in Guilford County for advice/information about starting a garden and involving children in the gardening experience. They worked to recruit youth and adult volunteers to clean up the garden and plant the seeds for crops. LEAP was awarded a grant through the NC Cooperative Extension for $250 to buy supplies for the garden and also received $400 in gifts-in-kind to start the process. As a result, the garden produced fresh produce including tomatoes, squash, string beans. This was the first time many of the children in the LEAP program had the opportunity to help plant seeds, see a garden grow and experience eating fresh vegetables from the garden. Additional produce was provided to the families in the LEAP program during the summer camp. A garden curriculum was included with the produce, and the 100 students attending the summer camp had a chance to learn more about gardening and experienced working in the garden each week.
Garden supplies were also donated to the Southside Community Garden by a private company. The City of High Point Community Development & Housing provided the land, purchased the fence, which was installed by Parks & Recreations staff and made sure water was provided to the garden.
Volunteers come together through out the year to help clean the garden and prepare it for the planting season. These volunteers consisted mainly of the neighborhood association members, High Point LEAP, Growing High Point, and HPU Students (VISTA and Bonner) and other individuals supporting the “Day of Service”.