Community garden kick-off party to feature plant swap, activities, music

Published 8:53 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It’s almost time to lace up your boots, break out the tools and get some dirt under your fingernails, but first, everyone is invited to a party. The community garden kick-off party will take place in Covered Bridge Park on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to celebrate the culmination of efforts and insights of regional gardeners, businesses and organizations in forming four new community gardens.

The public is invited to enjoy a plant swap, at which vegetable starts and seeds may be exchanged, live music, food vendors and free classes and activities for kids. Maps will be provided that show where the community gardens will be located.

The University of Tennessee Extension will be checking canner pressures and teaching a canning class. ReadNPlay will have plants for kids to make and take, and Niswonger Children’s hospital with Carter County Health Department (CCHD) will provide nutrition information.

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“Community agencies and representatives from all over Carter County have come together to make gardens a reality in our town,” said Jilian Reece, a health educator with the Tobacco Settlement of CCHD.

The project has been a joint effort between the Carter County Community Advisory Board, Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library, Elizabethton Housing and Development Agency, Boys and Girls Club of carter County/ Elizabethton, Build It Up East Tennessee, Phatboy Landscaping, Village Pediatrics, Elizabethton Senior Center and a number of private businesses and organizations.

Reece said they plan to begin building and planting the gardens next week.

“We are excited to recognize our sponsors and donors at this event as well as providing an opportunity for community members to get involved with the gardens,” Reece said. “People benefitting from the gardens are encouraged to volunteer to keep them going.”

Those interested in joining in the project by supplying materials, volunteering hours in the gardens or hosting an informational booth or craft are encouraged to contact Reece at