At the Hamilton Community Garden construction is almost coming to an end. The garden beds have been built, the mulch has been laid. The physical activity and exercise equipment has been installed and awaits final touches. Masonry work continues on the amphitheater and the last brush strokes are being made to the beautiful hand painted garden mural.
As community partners sat together last evening at the weekly garden meeting, the topic of community involvement was discussed. The garden and recreational area has been constructed and now the question is how to have the local residents “buy in” so to speak and use the garden and equipment for what it offers. Who will maintain maintenance of the garden following the last steps of construction? What is the right way to entice their participation? Community partners brainstormed and several ideas were thrown around. The Hamilton United Methodist Church, who hosts the garden’s construction invited partners to their monthly fellowship meeting and weekly bible group to reach out to church members. Garden stewards, on loan from the Richard Stockton College of NJ, will be assisting in reaching out to local groups such as PAL, the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Princesses, an Atlantic City based young women’s group.
Again, partners will come together with those that have responded to these efforts and more program planning will occur. This brainstorming activity has paved the way to seeking out new gardeners and those that will benefit from the Hamilton Community Garden.
Also that evening agreement was met that a dedication ceremony will be held on site at the Hamilton Community Garden on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 from 5-7pm. Atlantic City Mayor
What is the saying? “If you build it, they will come?” Working on a community project, such as a community garden, has proven that it takes a lot more than muscle and labor to create a successful program. Partners meet on a weekly basis to continue discussion around programming and needed maintenance of the garden.