Strawberry Mansion community turns vacant lot into garden


They say that their streets have been plagued with violence and crime for too long.

"If you go back to 2001, there have been 1,900 people shot in the 22nd police district," said Robert Reed, U.S. Attorney's Office.

"This is a chance for everybody to come together to share those good things happening in certain areas," said Tonnetta Graham, Strawberry Mansion Community Development Corporation.

Everyone pitched in to help turn an empty lot into a neighborhood garden.

"This is an opportunity for us to bring attention to this area, bring resources and energy here by again bringing everyone together," said Reed.

Volunteer once a month, and you, too, no matter your age, can have your own plot of fresh garden foods.

"It's fun! You get to put your hands in the dirt and feel it," said Lucas Graham.

Excess fruits and vegetables will be handed out in the community or dropped off to food pantries.

In the fall the goal is to use these goods to help launch a culinary arts program across the street at Strawberry Mansion High School.

"Teach our children about food, how important it is for the community to eat right and nutrition," said Linda Cliatt-Wayman, Principal.

She says she is digging in to send a message to the local community that we all must do our part if we want to see a positive turnaround, especially in a notoriously troubled school.

"Let everyone know that in order for us to save our children it's going to take a community and schools to work together," said Cliatt-Wayman.

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