WSU Master Gardeners are looking for sponsors and locations for more community gardens

WSU Master Gardeners are looking for sponsors and locations for more community gardens

WSU Master Gardeners are building more gardens for low-income community members. There are already more than 40 gardens in Benton and Franklin Counties created by the group.

They hope to create 50 more with a grant from United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties and are looking for sponsors and locations.

“We’re looking for garden sponsors who would like to build a garden to service their people, people who live in a housing complex, people in a neighborhood, people being served by a social service agency, a school that has a lot of low income and disadvantaged families,” said Bill Dixon, WSU Master Gardener.

The deadline for proposals have been extended to Sept. 11. (To apply to become a sponsor call (509) 735-3551 or email eileen.hewitt@co.benton.wa.us)

The Jay Perry Park garden in Kennewick has plots for ten families to grow their own fruits and vegetables. That one garden produces 1,000 pounds of produce each year.

Dixon said about 500 gardeners are being serviced by all the plots in the Tri-Cities and they produce a estimated 500,000 pounds each year.

“This is the way to teach people how they can actually grow some of their own food, which not only gives them fresh fruits and vegetables, but also gives them a sense of accomplishment. And it’s a skill that they can pass on to their children and their grandchildren which I’ll help them get out of poverty,” said Dixon.

Dixon said 1 in 7 people in Benton and Franklin Counties aren’t sure where their next meal will come from, including 1 in 4 children.

Some of the locations of current gardens include the Kennewick Housing Authority, the First Christian Church in Kennewick and the Family Learning Center, where the garden is used to help teach refugee children how to speak English.

The program also created 5 Giving Gardens where the food is donated to Second Harvest food banks.

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