Blawnox garden aimed at growing community pride |
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Tawnya Panizzi

Ninety-two-year-old Mary Kurtz didn’t mind getting her hands dirty helping to plant a community garden in Blawnox last week.

“This is a great program,” she said, while planting seeds in a wheelchair-accessible garden bed. “It should have been done a long time ago. I am willing to help in any way I can be of service.”

Kurtz kept her word, spending four hours on June 8 helping to plant seeds in raised beds that were built by a dozen volunteers at the Blawnox Community Park along Center Avenue.

Residents were encouraged to join the garden-building event that at long last launched the initiative by the religious ministry I Heart Blawnox.

Debated for several years, the garden is aimed at providing food, volunteerism and socialization for all.

“We are so excited to get started,” volunteer Dodi Dean said.

Dean praised a good turnout by people of all ages, including youngster Reid Stanczak and his father, Matt.

Reid delivered plants and mulch in a wheelbarrow for several hours to each of the plots that will soon sprout tomatoes, herbs and beans.

“It was a great event,” Matt Stanczak said. “Reid and I were glad to have the opportunity to pitch in and give back to Blawnox.

“It’s a terrific community and we were especially glad to see members of the nearby senior center enjoying the garden.”

Stanczak credited members of I Heart Blawnox for their persistence in seeing the project through to fruition, after several years of being delayed.

“I know it took a lot of time and effort,” he said.

Council approved the garden earlier this year, after agreeing with volunteers that the busy park near the Blawnox Hi-Rise would be an appropriate space.

The 2019 season is expected to include vegetables and flowers. Maintenance will be volunteer-based, including weeding, pruning, harvesting and watering.

To volunteer, or to learn more about harvesting the crops, call 412-828-4141.

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