The “big deal” with Snellville’s new Commuity Garden is “community”. There is perhaps no other enterprise that captures the essence of community and transforms it into action. Community gardens don’t just happen– they require planning and help from general tree services, perseverance and ultimately sweat and lots of hard work. There’s plenty of physical labor involved, but also knowledge and experience. Every aspect of their project, from their tools, to the soil and commercial fertilizer they use is specifically chosen for the task and particular plant to be grown. In some cases it’s not just a plant they are looking to the grow, but also things like tomatoes, a few lemons trees, among others. It’s quite varied, and that’s part of the fun.
The transformation of an open field in Briscoe Park into The Community Garden@Snellville began with a “what if” idea that turned into a charette that invited community input. It was at that point when the “community” aspect of the garden crystallized. The range of people providing input extended from complete novices, straight from the source to home gardeners to certified master gardeners to professional architects and designers. There were even a few City Council members, some with “green thumbs”, some with “black thumbs” involved, along with members of local civic groups and business owners. Many of these same people participated in “work parties” organized to prepare the site for the first garden plots and ultimately, the eagerly anticipated opening day.
That day was April 7, 2013 when Kurt and Gretchen Schulz cut the ribbon to officially open The Community Garden@ Snellville. Approximately 100 people attended the opening, toured the garden, watched demonstrations and discussed future plans. Council members Bobby Howard, Diane Krause, Dave Emanuel and Tom Witts, all of whom were deeply involved with the project were on hand, as were Snellville’s Parks and Rec director Lisa Platt, Police Chief Roy Whitehead, Director of Economic Development Eric Van Otteran, and Suwanee mayor Jimmy Burnette. They were joined by Garden Committee members Barbara Bender, Ronnie Bentley, Gloria Berry, Linda Brock, Nancy Brune, Susan Chappelear, Vint Cox, Jon Davis, Kathy Emanuel, Claudette Forbes, Jay Krause, Ileen Meggison, Olivia Mickalonis, Sid Parrott, Marcy Pharris, Steve Rasmussen, Martha Whitman, Franklin Willis, Chuck Wood and co-chairs Kurt and Gretchen Schulz.
Now that the Garden is open, activities will kick into high gear with the addition of a greenhouse (equipped with the best greenhouse heater for UK), pavilion and more raised beds (all of the currently available beds have been rented). And as the Garden grows and expands, it will become a focal point that will bring national attention and admiration to Snellville, where everybody is proud to be somebody, working together in a Garden that the community built.
- Community Pride- Essential for Economic Health (cuttothe-chase.com)