HOPE Plants a Seed for the Future

Setting the Foundation for the Planters

The Project HOPE garden at the Lincoln School Teen Center is off to a great start, thanks to students and community volunteers who showed up this past Saturday, November 17, to prepare the site for the next growing season.  

Everybody Gets the Chance to Contribute

Almost two acres of land is available for use and expansion, just north and on the corner, across the street from the school on North 10th Street.  The site had held two house trailers used as offices until the Lincoln School was closed two years ago.  The property remained with the school district after the trailers had been sold and was viewed as a potential garden site shortly after the Teen Center moved into the vacant Lincoln premises.  Board members recognized the potential of the empty lot, and started discussing some of their options even before the Lincoln School was officially opened for the school year. 

“We’re starting out small with local donations of materials,” explained Teen Center director, Lori Hammer on Saturday.  She added, “But we’re excited about the potential of what the site can do for the students and for the neighborhood in the long run.”  The property was cleared and leveled, making way for a mound of large, chair-sized rocks which can be used to landscape the grounds.  Curved, modular compartments about 10 feet long and 2 feet wide were filled with soil and several were centered on the grounds and will be used for planting in May, according to Emily Neischburg of LiveWell, a Project HOPE board member.  

Assembling Some Art Decorations for the Garden

“We’ll start applying for some local donations and grants which will help fund the garden project,” she said.  “There’s a nation-wide academic course, called Master Gardener and some interested students can qualify for the Junior Master Gardner program,” Nieschburg added.   

Adding Up Some More Dirt into the Planters

Hammer voiced a tentative outline for the months ahead, “This will be a great opportunity for the local community and neighborhood to buy in to and mark off a site for their own crops if they want.  They can just contact us at the school on how to begin.”  She said, “There’s no fence going up around the garden, we hope people will understand that this is for the students and themselves.  A lot of good things will come from this in the future,” Hammer added.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureCitycommunityEducationEnergyEventsFeaturedHealthLamarProwers CountyRecreationSchoolYouth


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