Monday, December 14, 2009

Southeast community garden dedication

Roanoke Community Garden Association

Roanoke Community Garden Association

The sleet and frigid rain subsided and the sun appeared just in time to welcome the Roanoke Community Garden Association (RCGA) Sunday afternoon as they dedicated the Southeast community garden. The garden is spread across two large city lots owned by Frank Roupas.

Twenty gardeners, volunteers and supporters cheered and applauded as a sign designed by local artist Katherine Devine was unveiled. It is now officially the Frank Roupas Community Garden. Following the unveiling community members gave accounts of how the garden impacts family food budgets, connects neighbors and adds beauty to the inner-city neighborhood.

Since 2007 the mission of the tax-exempt RCGA has been to create sustainable organic community gardens throughout the Roanoke Valley. Individuals and families adopt one of the approximately 30 garden plots of 300 square feet each. They then grow fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers as the wish. A little experimenting keeps it interesting.

Katherine Devine, Frank Roupas, Mark Powell

Katherine Devine, Frank Roupas, Mark Powell

According to the RCGA director, Mark Powell the Frank Roupas garden is perhaps the largest garden of its kind in Roanoke since the Victory Gardens of World War II. “Community gardens are springing up all over the city,” said Powell. Other community garden locations are in north Roanoke County, Old Southwest and on Grandin Road in the Raleigh Court neighborhood.

The RCGA provides the land, water, tools, storage and composting facilities to gardeners. Educational programs are offered to get new gardeners started on the right foot. The plan in 2010 is to provide after-school and summer programs to the Boys and Girls Club. Powell, a Southeast resident hopes to provide more amenities in the years to come.

Plans are in place to develop more gardens in Southwest City and the Town of Vinton. For more information on community gardens call Powell at 540-904-3122 or email him through RCGA at

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Local Events

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