The KAB/Lowe’s grant applied for by Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful on behalf of Huntersville Presbyterian Church is transforming two deserted lots to create the Patch on Main Community Garden that will comprise an 80′ by 80′ space and provide 30 garden plots, plus a variety of other natural & planted areas tol be used for feeding and educating our community, including those in need.
A total of 38 volunteers from the church, including Pastor David Brown and Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain kicked off our project with a groundbreaking and dedication work day in September of this year. This allowed us to clear and prep the site for planned improvements to the site and establishment of the garden space.
Grant funds helped clear dead trees and limbs from the property, including the rental of a chipper that converted these materials to mulch that will be used in the garden area. Six Lowe’s heroes volunteered approximately 51 hours to come to the property to help install the fence, which we purchased from Lowe’s with grant funds after on-site consultation and measurement by representatives from our Huntersville Lowe’s store. The Lowe’s volunteers removed a chain link fence on one side of the garden and erected a new chain link fence on the back side. Then they installed a split rail fence on the remaining two sides of the garden with one small gate and a double gate. This allowed a defined area for the garden and the ability to help keep out rabbits, dogs and other animals that could be detrimental to the garden. Soil amendments and tools, water hoses and carts were purchased for the garden so we’ll be ready to go in the Spring.
This will be the first official community garden in the Town of Huntersville and the support from the grant has really helped get the project off on the right foot and attracted community support. “The grant has helped take this from an idea to a blessing for our community. Local businesses have also been excited about the opportunity to be involved and contribute to what we think will strengthen the downtown community of Huntersville,” said Jim Carlson, Garden Manager. Local businesses like Wallace Farms, McLeod Organics, Huntersville Rental and Henson Foley have donated items to the project, including compost, cover crops, soil amendments, nutrients, lyme and even a professional site plan laying out all aspects of the project and will be displayed on the rear of the Patch on Main sign.
Since receiving the Lowe’s / KAB grant, we have partnered with Huntersville Parks & Recreation to expand plans for engagement and education on the site. Huntersville Parks & Recreation is even planning to install a greenhouse on site in the next month or two to grow seedlings for transplants. We have even initiated contact with Huntersville-Based Metrolina Greenhouses, the largest single-site heated greenhouse in the United States at 162 acres under roof, and a major supplier to Lowe’s, about assisting with the greenhouse.