After several months of careful planning, the dream of having a community garden at the G.W. Petroplus
Towers in Wheeling became a reality in May. The aim of this joint project between the Northern Region of Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) and the Appalachian Institute (AI) at Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) is to get fresh, healthy produce into the hands of senior citizens who often face barriers in purchasing these same items. In addition, the garden would provide a space for residents to come together and build community.
With expert help from the leaders of the nonprofit, Grow Ohio Valley, the raised garden beds were built on the Towers’ grounds. A team of volunteers from WJU, the Master Gardeners, and the wider Wheeling community came together to fill the raised beds with organic material and topsoil and to dig post holes for the fence. Many of the volunteers returned to help with the planting day.
The residents who had signed up to be part of this garden were active participants in every step of the process. From lifting wheelbarrows of soil into the beds to planting seeds, the 20 or so residents taking part each contributed to the project. Teams of residents will now maintain their designated raised beds and will divide the produce among themselves.
Work at the garden will continue throughout the summer and fall, so if you are interested in helping in any capacity, please contact Liz at 304-905-9860 ext. 2209. If all goes well, CCWVa and the AI hope to replicate this project at other high rises around the Ohio Valley. If you would like to be part of further discussions about expanding this garden concept, please contact Liz.