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Gardening committee set to form in Hagerstown

February 13, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — Concerned that the skill of gardening is being lost, a group of people wants to study the future of community gardening in Hagerstown and look at ways to make it sustainable.

Children have been able to learn about vegetable gardening through after-school programs that have been offered by Maryland’s Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement (CSAFE) program, according to Hagerstown City Council member Ashley Haywood.

Gardens have been in place at Memorial Recreation Center in town, and at Winter Street Elementary and Bester Elementary schools.

But funding has been cut for CSAFE in past years, and that has hurt the program, Haywood said.

Haywood also is involved in “Dig In, Hagerstown!” a community garden at Hager Park that builds off the CSAFE community gardens idea.

Haywood, along with local master gardener Will Godwin, talked with Hagerstown City Council members and Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II on Feb. 1 about the city forming an ad-hoc committee to study the future of community gardening.

Haywood said she wants to make sure community gardening continues and wants to look at ways of making it sustainable.

Not only could people raise fresh produce in the gardens, but if the gardens are successful enough, perhaps the growers could sell their harvest, Haywood said.

Godwin stressed to city council members the importance of teaching the self-sustaining skill of gardening, with which some people are not familiar.

“We got a whole generation that has lost that skill,” Godwin said of gardening.

Council members agreed to allow the ad-hoc committee to be formed, with the possibility that it would become a permanent committee.

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