A colorful community garden is now blossoming in Lansford
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Jennifer Maynard, left, of Lansford, hands flowers to her daughter, Maddison, 7, as they help build a community garden at Bertsch and Center streets in Lansford. About 30 people participated in planting flowers and vegetables on the vacant lot. It was a project by Grace Community Church.
A dormant plot of ground was given vibrant new life on Saturday morning.
A community garden was created at the corner of Bertsch and Center streets where a movie house had once stood. The theater was torn down several years ago, with the borough obtaining the lot.
Grace Community Church was given permission by Lansford Borough Council to create the community garden.
About 30 volunteers, many of them children, gathered on the lot and spread newspaper swatches as weed barriers, dug holes in painted tires to plant flowers, proudly positioned the colorful plants throughout the plot, and put seeds to grow tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables in raised beds.
The project was organized by Jodi Mika, the children's instructor at the church. She stressed that the garden is open to anyone. Benches were placed on the site for people to merely visit and relax.
Mika adopted the theme "scattering seeds of hope."
She said when the vegetables are matured, they will be given back to the community.
She said she was pleased to see people from all ages come together and work on the garden. She said, "It's open for people to come out and weed and water the plants, or to just visit; to sit back and enjoy it."
The volunteers were treated to hot dogs and soft drinks. They also were give tie-dyed T-shirts.
Mika said the plants were provided through donations from businesses and individuals.
Among those helping to create the garden were Lansford Borough Council member Samantha Yasson and police officer Chris Ondrus.
"I think this is a good thing for the town," Yasson said. "It's a positive thing. And the people are doing a wonderful job. The flowers being planted are beautiful."
Ondrus agreed, saying, "You hear so much bad going on. It's wonderful when people get together like this."
The garden was Mika's idea. She said, "I was trying to think of a nice project for the youth of the church. I though, 'what better thing than to have everyone come together.'"
She credits her grandfather, the late Evan Brode of Coaldale, her "Pap Pap" who died three years ago, as teaching her gardening. "He would be so proud of this," she said, getting emotional and rubbing tears from her eyes.
She said she was thrilled that the church received such good sponsorship and reception for the project. "I'm also pleased that so many people showed up to get this started," she said.
Anyone wanting to contact Mika either for information or to contribute to the garden can reach her on Facebook at lansfordpacommunitygarden18232, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.