Early in the morning on March 15th, 2014 AtlantiCare Growing Green and A Work in Progress were joined by their many community partners at the Hamilton United Methodist Church in Atlantic City to break ground on a new community garden site. Partners took part by lending a hand, disassembling the existing damaged beds of the Hamilton Garden, making way for the new raised garden beds, physical activity center and outdoor cooking/learning station. The garden was sadly destroyed in Super Storm Sandy’s wake in October 2012 but plans have been made to rebuild and expand the garden this Spring 2014.
Though demolition was the main goal on that date, a great part of the existing garden was moved to a “storage area” on the church’s grounds to await its reuse in the new garden’s construction. Waste not! Shrubs and flower bulbs were also transplanted to other locations in the church yard. A break in the winter weather actually allowed workers in their T-shirts, rather than winter coats, to enjoy the sunshine and labor. Even young volunteers were there with smiles on their faces as they planted seeds in recycled newspaper pots with volunteers. Hopes are to transplant those seedlings into the garden beds after their completion. A special surprise visitor, Atlantic City Mayor, Don Guardian, stopped by to check in on progress and provide support to the project. See here for news coverage of the work day by local news station, NBC40.
The ground is now ready and awaiting construction of the outside fitness center and raised garden beds. What will be original to this community garden is a specific area for local chefs to donate their cooking expertise to gardeners and local community members to teach farm to table recipes and cooking tips.The next step in rebuilding this once great community garden of Atlantic City will be to meet with volunteers that will assist with the construction of the raised beds, pipe in plumbing and run electrical work. As said before, great things are growing in Atlantic City.
(Liz Donaghy, Garden Goddess by the Sea, giving some gardening expertise to volunteers at the Hamilton Community Garden.)
A special “Thank you” to those that came out to get the Hamilton Garden project rolling… John DeRichie, Project Architect, SOSH Architects, Don Kelly, Kelly’s All Pro Landscaping, Jim Andrews, James Andrews Designs, LLC, Liz Donaghy, Garden Goddess by the Sea, LLC, Employees from W. Kline Construction, Members of the Hamilton AME United Methodist Church, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian, First Ward Councilman Aaron Randolph, Members of “Healing Gardens”, Pastor Jevon Caldwell, Carpenter Rich Engelmann from Carpenter’s Local #255.
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