Community gardens growing in popularity in Nacogdoches neighborhood

Resilient Nacogdoches volunteers want to teach youngsters sustainability and let them know the community cares about their future. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Resilient Nacogdoches volunteers want to teach youngsters sustainability and let them know the community cares about their future. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Work on the TJR Elementary Children’s Garden began five months ago. Harvest time has finally arrived. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Work on the TJR Elementary Children’s Garden began five months ago. Harvest time has finally arrived. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Resilient Nacogdoches leader Jim Lemon meets with a resident. The project is bridging cultures. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Resilient Nacogdoches leader Jim Lemon meets with a resident. The project is bridging cultures. (Source: KTRE Staff)
A resident of Briarforest in southern Nacogdoches County plants his garden following the introduction of a community garden. (Source: KTRE Staff)
A resident of Briarforest in southern Nacogdoches County plants his garden following the introduction of a community garden. (Source: KTRE Staff)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A community garden in Briarforest is the seed to motivating an entire neighborhood. Resilient Nacogdoches leader Jim Lemon had a hunch that would happen when the project started last month.

"What has happened since we started this is these people come from the neighborhood and say, 'Can I have one of those in my yard?'" said Jim Lemon, the leader of Resilient Nacogdoches.

More garden boxes are built, delivered and planted. Stephen F. Austin State University social work students help out, but Lemon explains the real reason why their presence is needed.

"We're going to empower him to do it on his own," Lemon said.

The dialysis patient had enough strength to work his own garden. Last week the experienced gardener was adamant the boxes were misplaced in his yard. Volunteers agreed to move them.

"That is a sign of self-advocacy and that's what we're looking for," Lemon said. "We don't want compliance. We want them to tell us they want because then it's theirs."

Similar results are happening at TJR Elementary Children's Garden. After five months of preparation, it is harvest time.

Students are learning more from volunteers than how to grow food.

"The community cares about them and the community wants them to learn and be better learners and have experiences," said Tonya Turnage.

The lesson from a simple garden helps school children and cultures understand one another for generations to come

The number of volunteers and donations is increasing as more people learn about the community beds.

Anyone interested in helping out can contact Resilient Nacogdoches or Nacogdoches Independent School District.

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