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Popular WVU Extension gardening program starts community pick-up events

Grow This! West Virginia Garden Challenge by the West Virginia University Extension Service Family Nutrition Program.

Budding gardeners are getting another chance to participate in Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge, a popular program by the WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program. The program is holding a series of community pick-up events around the state thanks to the help of community partners.

The first event will be held on Thursday, April 30 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Jones United Methodist Church at 333 Green Street in Morgantown. Gardeners will be able to drop off extra seeds, seedlings, pots, potting soil and other gardening supplies for others to pick up and use. Family Nutrition Program educators will also be on hand to distribute seeds.  

Donated gardening supplies can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you have any gardening supplies you’d like to donate, contact Pastor Stephen Prince at stephen.r.prince@gmail.com.

Attendees for the pick-up event are asked to wear masks and gloves, while observing proper social distancing behavior.

“This event is an opportunity for people who didn’t get to sign up for Grow This,” said Kristin McCartney, Family Nutrition Program specialist and assistant professor. “But it’s also an opportunity for more experienced gardeners to help others get started. There were so many people who wanted to help after we had to close enrollment for this year’s program.”

Sign-ups for Grow This were suspended in early April after more than 25,000 people enrolled. In the first two years of the program, only a few hundred people participated. In addition, the Grow This Facebook page is home to a community of 7,500 gardeners who share advice and participate in gardening challenges.

Additional community pick-up events are in the planning stages for other areas of the state. If your business or organization is interested in hosting an event, contact McCartney at kristin.mccartney@mail.wvu.edu.