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Community Gardens

monarch butterfly hanging from a purple butterfly bush flower

Community gardens grow stronger communities by helping neighbors work together in a fun, beautiful and tasty way.

Wheeling is home to at least seven community gardens and each has a different structure and goal.

The Glen Gorczyca Gardens of South Wheeling are a project of the South Wheeling Preservation Alliance. Surrounded by brightly colored flowers, this garden has grown to include three lots that have individual plots gardeners can rent. The garden continues to help build social bonds and promote the unique spirit and character of this historic neighborhood.

The Edelman Garden on Wheeling Island began with a partnership between a local activist, a WVU Extension Master Gardener and the Seeing Hand Association. It is now a beautiful site where the visually and mentally impaired can gain hands-on experiences from planting to harvesting.

The one-acre C3 Community Garden is a faith-based garden run by a group of volunteers, including several WVU Extension Master Gardeners. They grow fruits and vegetables to donate to local food banks. While much smaller, gardens in North and East Wheeling also aid food justice goals by establishing healthy and fruitful gathering places.

Wheeling Health Right’s FARMacy Program takes participants from farm to fork. They start with locally grown produce, add cooking lessons from WVU Extension’s Family Nutrition Program and stir in onsite gardening conversations and demonstrations with a WVU Extension Master Gardener.

To start a community garden, you need five things:

  1. permission from the local zoning office,
  2. land with a good lease,
  3. a clear set of rules,
  4. a gardener contract and,
  5. most important, a couple of people willing to give their time and hearts to run the garden.

By Karen Cox, WVU Extension Agent – Ohio County