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Fayetteville Community Garden

Growing community

Being a local land trust, SALT’s mission of “saving the places you love” is intricately tied to community. One of the major components of land protection is to serve the community – to preserve a high quality of life and to protect our valuable natural resources as well as our cultural heritage. The community garden project, located within the Old Wilmington Road community in downtown Fayetteville, will serve as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.

The timing for this project is perfect. During the past few years, the City of Fayetteville has partnered with community leaders and investors in revitalizing downtown Fayetteville. Significant monies have been spent, extensive public relations campaigns have been introduced, and citizen “buy-in” has been significant through efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Alliance partners.

In 2008, The Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority received a $20 million Hope VI grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which will allow cities to replace public housing with a mix of homes and apartments for families within a range of incomes. The Fayetteville Community Garden lies at the heart of the area slated for redevelopment.

Through the generous support of the Lilly Legacy Foundation, the project has transitioned from being a “dream” to becoming a reality. This Foundation, established by the grandchildren of Ashton F. Lilly to honor their grandmother - founding family member of The Fayetteville Observer and passionate gardener, awarded SALT a gift of $12,000 to begin the planning and leadership/organizational infrastructure for the garden. Shortly thereafter, the Conservation Fund, a national organization focused on environmental protection, sustainable economic development, and social justice, joined with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to contribute an additional $8,500 resulting in the needed funds to organize the garden and produce the design for implementation.

With planning “seed monies” in place, SALT has now turned its attention to the exciting part – building the Garden’s leadership and seeing the dream become a reality. It’s the vision of SALT that the Old Wilmington Road Community Garden will be the first of many gardens dotting the landscape of Fayetteville and the surrounding region.

Community gardens are flourishing around the country changing lives and communities. There is something for everyone in a community garden, but they only become a reality through the support of the community. Consider a gift of time, labor, materials or financial support and enjoy the “fruits” of the Garden. A garden always gives back far more than it ever receives!