Center establishes community garden

WEIRTON – The Weirton Christian Center, working with several community partners, is establishing a community garden in the city.

According to Christian Center officials, this will be the first community garden in Weirton.

The project has started with two 8 feet by 12 feet beds, with plans to expand next year to a larger, second location.

“This project will encourage healthy eating and community pride,” Weirton Christian Center Director Kim Weaver said. “The goal is to teach the children of the Center and their families how to grow fresh vegetables for themselvesand learn the basics of taking care of a garden.”

The beds were built and planted with lumber, fasteners and fertilizer donated by Lowes Home Improvement, and the plants were provided by Iannetti’s Garden Center and Barb Canterbury of the Mary H. Weir Public Library, said Weaver.

Volunteer labor was provided by Dean West and Jim Horan, employees of MarkWest, and by employees at ArcelorMittal Steel, including Dewayne Harris, Howard Vulgamore, Jim Ramsey, Bill Duke, Al Pulice, Bill Wagner, Rob Glover and Mike Bartoletti.

Planting was done with assistance from Bethany Morris, of Lowes, and U.S. Army representative Florida Garr, with other assistance from Weirton Christian Center employee Jake King and VISTA volunteer Jessica Reese, along with master gardener Roger Vanhorn.

According to Weaver, the children at the Weirton Christian Center have had educational sessions with the community garden, will be weeding and maintaining the area, and picking vegetables.

The cooking class at the center then will use the vegetables to prepare snacks for the students.

Selinsky Force, and MarkWest Hydrocarbon, Inc. provided the funds to purchase topsoil that filled the raised beds.

Partners in this community garden include the Family Resource Center, Hancock and Brooke WVU Extension offices, Master Gardeners, Healthways and the Mary H. Weir Public Library.

The project is under the direction of Weirton Christian Center’s AmeriCorps VISTA Aerika West.