I was in town last weekend for several activities, and first on tap, after my grilled cheese & pie at The Very Best, was attending the monthly meeting of Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization, a relatively new grassroots coalition of borough residents. (You gotta love a URL like http://www.vivapottstown.com!) The group’s mission is to instill pride and empower residents to get involved and take positive actions in their neighborhoods and throughout town. The two leaders, Katy Jackson and Anna Johnson, have lined up a series of speakers for their meetings, which take place at the PAL building at 146 King Street on the 3rd Friday of the month, beginning at 7 p.m. and lasting about an hour.
I had met Katy a few weeks before (and Anna briefly), when Katy took me on a walking tour of her block in the vicinity of King, Washington, Chestnut, and Franklin Streets. It was one of those gorgeous, sunny, warm afternoons when everyone seemed happy just to be outside. So, there’s this sweet park at the corner of Washington and Chestnut that was just abuzz with activity. Plans are in the works for neighbors to (hopefully) plant some flowers in one area, and for art students from the high school to use a block wall at the back of the park as a kind of rotating exhibit space to showcase their work throughout the year.
I’m not sure how far along the residents are in working out this next concept, so I’ll just say this: there’s a chance there will be a space available in the neighborhood for a community garden. Community gardens are growing in popularity, especially in places where wholesome foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, are not available or are too expensive. Basically, a lot is divided up among interested residents and/or groups/clubs. Someone who knows something about gardening coordinates & teaches, so that participants end up with a steady flow of food and even flowers. Of course, donations of tools, plants, seeds, soil are sought to make it all happen.
Community gardens get people outside, get neighbors working together, provide better food at a lower price, raise awareness about nutrition and food production, and put an empty or nuisance lot to good use. That’s a lot of win-wins in there. So, if this happens, maybe it could be a kind of pilot project for other gardens around town.
But this wasn’t what this post was even supposed to be about! I’ll try again in the next one…