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Promoting community gardens

WARREN — City resident Mary Ann Franklin said she learned ways to promote community gardens at a two-day gardening leadership and urban agriculture conference at the Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership offices in Warren.

TNP held the leadership workshop March 22 and 23 to share how community gardens bring people together.

Cassandra Clevenger, GROW program director and event organizer, said groups of gardeners shared their ideas and showed what they are doing in their own communities.

Clevenger said the key to any sustainable community garden is developing plans to recruit volunteers and getting youth involved, developing goals, and hosting events at the garden. Events such as cooking demonstrations, sharing gardening stories and volunteer work days help get people to the gardens, she said. Youngstown held a tomato taste at a garden to bring people there, she said.

“I hope we were able to help empower them with resources so they can carry on their community gardens,” Clevenger said.

Topics during the conference also focused on green infrastructure and urban bee keeping.

Franklin said there are people who want to start a community garden in an urban setting. The southwest side of Warren had an Urban Community Victory Garden that has been scaled back, but she and other residents would like to see it return.

“The residents are working to build the garden back up again,” she said.

Danita Davis of Warren, who organizes activities at the Garfield Community Garden in Warren, said residents are looking forward to another season of growing with a greenhouse in use.

Clevenger said those with gardens can also plan fundraising events as a way to get people involved with the garden.

“We want people to come up with ideas to support their gardens,” she said.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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