Nonprofits plan to unveil garden, gathering place in Savannah’s midtown

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SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – an effort by several Savannah non profits hopes to have greens growing in Savannah’s midtown area come the new year.

Community gardens are next to none around midtown Savannah especially here in between midtown and eastside which is one of the many food deserts around Savannah. East 34th street between East Broad and Harmon has a handful of abandoned homes, some smoke damaged. It also is the home for the Dream Campaign who for the last couple of years provided after school and summer lunches for kids in the area. The closest store with fresh produce is the Kroger a mile up the road at East Gwinnett. It’s only a mile, but for a child with no car, or a parent with only a bus ticket, it’s not easily accessible.

“We think it’ll be a spot for the community to com together,” says Emergent Structures director Scott Boylston.

A little wood and art work is hoping to give families along east 34th and surrounding streets a new image of the neighborhood. The old lot behind Southern Pine company is transforming into the E. 34th garden with the help local non profits.

“We wanted to use the site for something other than storage, we wanted to give something back to the neighborhood with the combination of food,” says Design for Ability executive director Meagan Hodge.

Nearly all of the future greenhouse is recycled construction material. The mural is designed by kids like Calin White who is in the neighborhood every week working with the dream campaign off of Harmon street.

“It’s going to give people a lot of hope, it’s going to make them want to come back here and look and give a positive background on this area,” White.

The major issue this garden wants to address is helping one of Savannah’s poorest areas to have healthy food options. The Savannah Urban Garden Alliance has curated and monitors several community gardens around Savannah, you can see where they are here.

“They’ll be using it to train special needs youth in how to grow food for themselves and also for the community because this is a food desert there is a need for fresh produce in this area,” Boylston adds.

With that training, E. 34 will be one of the first community gardens in midtown Savannah focused on becoming a gathering place for neighbors.

“Are hope is that this will become one of those places for this neighborhood a meeting place for all generations and all kinds of people,” says Boylston.

The garden will be at the corner of East Broad and East 34th. If everything stays on schedule, Hodge says they plan to open the garden before the end of December.

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