Volunteers relocate community garden

Volunteers relocate community garden

Bonnie Gold, left, and Pat Kinghorn, manager of operations of the Taft Street Community Garden, stand among the sunflower plants, which were to be transported to an area behind Varieur Elementary School last Saturday. The transportation had been delayed for several days because of bad weather. (Breeze photos by Charles Lawrence)

PAWTUCKET – Volunteers, working with city officials and representatives from Fortuitous Partners and Dimeo Construction, helped move the Taft Street Community Garden to a new and larger location behind Varieur Elementary School on Pleasant Street last Saturday.

The work was done to make way for a new soccer stadium being built on Pawtucket’s waterfront.

New amenities were added including additional raised beds, a shade pavilion, and fencing. All materials, labor and professional services were donated by Fortuitous Partners, in partnership with Dimeo Construction and the Narragansett Bay Commission.

“The Taft Street Community Garden has been a source of community pride, offering healthy foods and beautifying the neighborhood,” said Patricia Kinghorn of the community garden. “We are looking forward to the next chapter at our new location on Pleasant Street, which will allow us to expand and collaborate with the Varieur School for art classes, pumpkin picking, lessons on healthy food and more.

“We are so thankful for the support from Fortuitous and their team to incorporate the needs of the garden, make new additions, and assist with the rebuild of our garden,” she added. “We are looking forward to being part of this vibrant new community at Tidewater Landing.”

The garden was formed in 2016 and has become a community resource, regularly donating goods to the Wiley Center and the community at-large. Volunteers plan to partner with the Varieur School so students can enjoy the garden.

“This community garden means a lot to our residents and has been a great place for our community to come together, and I am so pleased to see it continue in its new and improved location,” said Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien. “I want to thank the work of Fortuitous, Dimeo Construction, and the Narragansett Bay Commission for helping to create this enhanced garden space for our residents to learn and continue to utilize.”

“The members of the community garden are incredible local stewards donating countless hours over the years to ensure that members of the community have a beautiful space and access to fresh produce,” said Brett Johnson, founder of Fortuitous Partners. “The garden is a community asset that supports sustainable, local living and education. We look forward to continuing to work together.”

The garden was moved about a half-mile away. The relocation will also avoid interference with Phase 3 of Narragansett Bay Commission’s Combined Sewer Overflow project.

Fortuitous Partners and Dimeo Construction donated the materials, time and expertise in planning and construction to relocate the new garden. The new plans incorporate garden members’ requests.

The Taft Street Community Garden hosts weekly group gardening events through Labor Day on Sundays at 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. The garden is active from April through November, and in the winter months for harvests only. The garden offers an array of vegetables.

Andie Kennedy, a board member of the Taft Street Community Garden, smooths mulch between the raised beds as the Taft Street Community Garden is moved away from the Tidewater Landing Site to an area behind Varieur Elementary School.
Blair Oliver and Bob Letendre, volunteers from Dimeo Construction, prepare for the move of the Taft Street Community Garden near the Tidewater Landing Site, where a new soccer stadium is being built, to an area behind Varieur Elementary School in Pawtucket last Saturday.