Community garden opens for residents

Leon County’s new community garden on Harriet Drive officially opened Sunday for local residents.

The Pumpkin Place Community Garden is the garden where Tallahassee residents can come and get involved with the community.

Pumpkin Place Community was an abandoned lot of homes that would have excessive flooding. Leon County purchased the land.

Frank Voran, a retired principal of Woodville Elementary School, decided he would write a grant to his county commissioner, John Dailey of District 3, and give his community a garden.

“This is a great way to get our neighbors and friends to interact with one another as a community,” Voran said.  

Kathryn Ziewitz, coordinator of the Leon County Office of Sustainability, was excited with the turnout of the community coming to the garden.

“What a great opportunity for the community to come together and connect,” Ziewitz said. “Promoting healthy eating and a sustainable community is important.”

Pumpkin Place now contains all types of vegetables, spices and herbs such as mustard greens, scallions, collard greens and onions for friends and neighbors to share.

Dedra O’Neal, Florida A&M scholarship program administrator, lent a helping hand and provided students to clean up and build seven composts for the community garden.

“Not only environmental science majors participated, but engineering, biology, journalism and architecture students came and helped, ” O’Neal said.

O’Neal also said the community can volunteer at the FAMU Community Garden.

Dailey believes that government and environment are ways to get the community and people together.

“The help of the government to buy the homes that were vacant was a great step to develop this garden,” Dailey said.  

Leon County has seven community gardens where local residents and community members can visit and volunteertheir gardening skills and give back to the community.