Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

November 24, 2013

Urban garden scene growing

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Another community garden will blossom in the city next summer.

The Lockport Common Council last week approved a special use permit allowing Imagine Community Gardens Inc. to turn a vacant lot at Ontario and Hawley streets into a community garden.

Earlier this year, ICG, a faith-based, non-profit outfit anchored in East Amherst, turned three neighboring lots on Washburn Street into a community garden. The positive reception from residents and city officials encouraged ICG to buy up and redevelop the Ontario Street lot.

“We were very focused on picking a neighborhood in need, like we did with Washburn,” Richard Tedeschi, vice president of ICG, said. 

The community gardening program is open to families in the neighborhood closest to the garden. Families apply for a raised bed, and those that are selected are paired with mentors from a local church.

Refuge Temple and Faith Tabernacle churches will manage the Ontario Street garden, Tedeschi said.

IGC supplies the organic gardening materials, plants and schematics for growing “companion” vegetables and flowers. Gardening families get to take home the produce that they grow, less 10 percent of the vegetables, which they’re asked to donate to a soup kitchen or other charity.

“Having these urban gardens where so many are below the poverty line helps nutrition,” Tedeschi said. “These gardens not only provide fresh produce where there is a ‘food desert,’ they help build self esteem and provide physical activity.”

The Washburn Street garden is managed by the Chapel at Crosspoint and the Chapel at Lockport.  

Contact reporter Kaley Lynch at 439-9222, ext. 6245, or Twitter handle @lynchie17

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