Community garden in Parkland aims to improve area - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Community garden in Parkland aims to improve area

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) --  Replacing the images of violence and poverty in the Parkland neighborhood may come from "replanting."

A ceremonial groundbreaking is planned for Saturday morning in Council District 1. Work installing a fence around the garden on Dumesnil Street began last week.

Councilwoman Attica Scott, (D) Council District 1, and other organizers hope the community garden will grow more than vegetables - they hope it will grow a sense of community pride in a area of town where abandoned homes and violence has become a common thread.

"That one is empty, that one's empty, that one's empty," said James Rhodes, a retiree who enjoys sitting on his front porch that overlooks Dumesnil. "This isn't a bad area."

But Rhodes has a front row seat to a growing problem.

"When somebody passes away, don't nobody moves in or nothing then you have an empty spot," he said.

Abandoned, boarded up homes in the Parkland neighborhood are popping up like the weeds that surround them. And a violent shootout last May rocked the area nearly a year ago.

But efforts down the street are aimed at improving the neighborhood.

"It's not just the Parkland community garden, it is a gathering space. It is also a deterrent for crime. Neighbors are getting to know each other," said Attica Scott.

 

Scott helped put together a community garden through tax dollars - a combination of neighborhood development funds and grants.

Volunteers have spent weeks spreading the word that the garden would be built in an area normally considered a food dessert.

"I'd rather see a garden than another liquor store," said Lisa Reed, a Parkland resident.

Rhodes, a retiree, won't be pitching in. He's content on his porch but admits:

"That'd be better than a boarded up house like him. That's one, two, skip that boy right there and that's another one of boarded up houses," he said.

They're hoping the community garden will grow more than vegetables. They hope it will grow a sense of pride to prevent the trash that's all over the alleyways.

A change that will require more people pitching in than plants in a garden.

Lisa Reed said: "When you have a small part of the community that grows, it helps the overall community."

A ceremonial groundbreaking will be held this Saturday to dedicate the community garden.

Even Louisville police officers plan to be involved.

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