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Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017
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New community gardens truly grand

Gardening enthusiasts and the East Madison Growers Association recently celebrated the opening of Grand Gardens.

It’s a result of the city’s Urban Agriculture Ordinance, which promotes the transformation of vacant lots into community gardens, organizers said.

Collaborating with property owners Steven De­Matos and Gary Gann, project supervisors will include individual gardening plots available to anyone for a donation and a commitment to help tend the overall site.

The centerpiece is an herb garden fashioned using 100-year-old bricks that had paved Old Dixie Highway before it was resurfaced with asphalt and became Grand Boulevard.

“Reusing these bricks from an earlier phase of our history harmonizes with the vision of Ecology Florida to restore and re-envision contemporary culture, using the best from the past in respectful and creative ways,” the project’s facilitator, Dell deChant of Ecology Florida, said in a news release.

The opening also included a ladybug release, an inaugural address and information brochures. Those attending received milkweed seeds as part of an Ecology Florida project to help restore Monarch butterfly communities in Florida.

The project gets funding and support from Friendship Farms and Fare, Nature Coast Real Food Project, Ecology Florida, the East Madison Growers Club, the Green Commerce Asso­ciation and local residents.

For information about the garden, which is at 5721 Grand Blvd., contact Travis Morehead at (727) 271-2333.

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