Volunteers from Waynesville R-VI AmeriCorps VISTA programs spent Tuesday slinging dirt and planting seeds to help restore and enlarge a project that was washed away in the August flood.
Volunteers from Waynesville R-VI AmeriCorps VISTA programs spent Tuesday slinging dirt and planting seeds to help restore and enhance a project that was washed away in the August flood.
The community garden, located next to the Sixth Grade Center, was started a year ago by Levi Miller, a Waynesville math teacher and AmeriCorps member.
The flood didn't stop Miller from making his vision of a creating a self-sustaining garden for the community a reality.
Miller said his students at the Sixth Grade Center and local volunteers have helped not only revive the garden, but make it twice as big.
The garden has all sorts of vegetables and herbs including tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, basil and potatoes.
Students from the Sixth Grade Center and volunteers from the Waynesville R-VI School District help take care of the plants.
In return, Miller said that the students and volunteers get to keep the vegetables they have helped grow.
Miller said his goal for the project is to help teach children how to grow their own food, which is an important skill to know in today's world where the word “organic” carries several meanings and locally grown food can be difficult to find.
“Most kids don't know where their food comes from,” Miller said. “This is my chance to teach what I know to the kids and show them how much produce they can actually grow on their own.”
Miller said he also plans on giving extra produce grown from the community garden to Supporting All Lives Together (SALT) and Good Samaritan of the Ozarks food pantry.
On Tuesday, AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers added a special handicapped-accessible section to the garden.
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America for more than 40 years. Waynesville VISTA members serve full-time for one year at the Waynesville R-VI School District or nonprofit community organization.