PARKERSBURG - Construction began Saturday on a community garden to be tended and harvested by children at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg.
So far, the garden has several raised garden beds for planting and two strawberry mounds and some arbors, while still waiting to be installed is a three-bin composting system.
Brittany Lewis, volunteer coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club, said the garden space is on two vacant lots owned by the club and is across from its location on Mary Street. She said the garden covers an area of 40 feet by 50 feet.
Steven Bailey, left, and Michael Cameron, right, both of the Mid-Ohio Valley Home Builders Association, place a strawberry mound frame. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Brittany Lewis, left, volunteer coordinator of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, and Pam Lutz, with Wood County Master Gardeners, stand at the entrance to the Boys and Girls Club garden. (Photo by Jeffrey Saulton)
Recently a water supply for the garden was installed. Pam Lutz, with the Wood County Master Gardeners, said the water supply was installed by Lynn Roush of Roush Excavating.
"He came in with the equipment and put this in free of charge," she said.
Randy Dornon, carpentry instructor at the Wood County Vo-Tech Center, said the raised garden beds and strawberry mounds were built by students at the center.
"They were 21 students, juniors and seniors," he said. "They worked on them for four days and they started on the compost bins Friday."
Members of the Mid-Ohio Valley Home Builders Association installed the garden beds and strawberry mounds as well as the arbors on Saturday.
Lutz said the students will learn about where their food comes from and how to make better food choices.
"They will tend and harvest the fruits and vegetables and that will increase their eating of them," she said. "They will also learn to cook them. There will be an outreach program to their families and help them start their own gardens with garden kits and they can do this at home."
A secondary purpose of the garden is to show how much can be grown in a small area.
"This demonstration garden shows how much food you can grow in a very small space," Lutz said. "It's the best thing for people who live in town since many have just small spaces.
"It's a good life skill and hobby."
Lutz said the garden will utilize the fence and arbors to maximize the space for trees and vining vegetables and fruits. Each plot will be divided into a square foot of space and every student who participates will be responsible for the space. All of the students will work on some other chores such as weeding and mulching on the other plots and common areas in the garden.
Lewis said the garden has had a lot of help from area businesses and individuals.
Lutz said the major funding source was from the Sisters of St. Joseph's Charitable Fund as well as funds from the Parkersburg Community Foundation and the Oakland Foundation.