Restored Pine Hills Community Garden Grows Bonds Among Young and Old
The restoration of the Pine Hills Community Garden was made possible by the joint funding efforts of the Sustainable Communities Grant and Pine Hills Safe Neighborhood Partnership of the Orange County Neighborhoods Service Division.
The refurbished community garden, which is about the size of a tennis court and features 13 garden beds, is located at the Pine Hills Community Center. It was originally established in 2010.
Recently, Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, Orange County District 6 Commissioner Victoria P. Siplin, the Pine Hills Seniors Club and Head Start children joined together to celebrate a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the much-needed restoration of the Pine Hills Community Garden.
“We consider the Pine Hills Community Garden a mutually beneficial intergenerational garden, as both seniors from the Pine Hills Seniors Gorup and children from our Head Start program will utilize it,” said Mayor Demings. “The garden is a symbol of sustainability and community engagement.”
Seniors stay active and socialize by planting and tending to vegetables in the garden, and children gain hands-on experience growing vegetables, such as cabbage, okra, tomatoes and various greens. They are also able to learn about sustainability by bringing the harvested vegetables home for their families to enjoy.
The restoration was completed by Fleet Farming — a local non-profit urban agriculture program whose mission is to empower all generations to grow food to increase local food accessibility — and included the removal of old garden beds, the replacement of old wood and the spreading of new top soil with compost to help break down the existing soil and prepare it for new planting.
Compton Belle, president of the Pine Hills Senior Club’s Garden Club, spoke at the ceremony and said, “Nurturing a garden not only provides food for the body, it also provides food for the soul. Partnerships make for positivity and we are so thankful for everyone who was involved in making this possible.”
To learn more about the Pine Hills Community Garden and the Orange County Neighborhood Services Division, contact Marthaly Irizarry, Project Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Caption: Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings and Orange County District 6 Commissioner Victoria P. Siplin celebrates the restoration of the Pine Hills Community Garden with Pine Hills Seniors Group member Valrie Johnson and 5-year-old Head Start student Kaylin.