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Southbury Community Garden Gets Green Light

Community garden coming to Settlers Park in Southbury.

The ‘CHART’ coalition, a recently formed town response team tasked with making Southbury healthier through better nutrition and increased exercise, has been given the green-light to proceed with their inaugural project – the construction of a community garden.

‘CHART’, Southbury’s Community Health Action Response Team, was formed last year after the town received a two-year Cancer Control Initiative funded by the CT State Department of Health and the CT Cancer Partnership. The team is made up of Pomperaug Health District officials and several community leaders.

The community garden will be cultivated on a parcel of land located in the Settlers Park complex in Southbury. Members of the team have begun surveying the site in recent week in order to assess the feasibility of breaking ground in the spring of 2012, according to the Pomperaug Health District.

The garden will be modeled after Heritage Village’s private River Garden, which has been in place since the late 1960’s, and will offer individual plots free of charge to residents, civic organizations and non-profit youth groups for the purpose of growing crops for consumption and/or food bank donation, according to the health district.

Interested parties will assume responsibility for a specific section of the quarter-acre parcel, including soil preparation, planting, maintaining and harvesting.  The Southbury Parks and Recreation Department will manage overall maintenance of the site, with assistance from the Department of Public Works.

The community garden organizers will be relying heavily on local businesses for donations of materials, such as lumber, fencing, wheelbarrows and gardening supplies.   Several community youth groups have expressed interest in providing volunteer labor, according to the health district.

The health district will partner for the second consecutive year with a team of AmeriCorps volunteers, who will focus some of their deployment efforts on assisting with the framing of raised bed garden plots.

Residents interested in helping with the community garden project, are urged to contact Grant Program Coordinator Robin Lucas at the Pomperaug Health District.

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