Tarentum’s community garden renamed to honor the Rev. Greg Blythe
Tarentum’s community garden has been renamed to honor a late pastor who helped create it five years ago.
Formerly called Tarentum Friendship Garden, it has been renamed as Tarentum’s Greg Blythe Friendship Garden.
Blythe, former pastor of Abundant Joy Fellowship, was one of the founders of the garden along First Avenue near Dreshar Stadium. He was 62 when he died on Nov. 23 from cancer.
Community garden officials announced the change on Facebook after a request from borough council and some residents.
The group leases the land from the borough for $1 to provide the service to the community.
Some residents were concerned the group wasn’t going to the make the change, but the Rev. Phil Beck, an organizer of the loosely affiliated group that oversees the garden, said they were just waiting to meet as a group and get more feedback from the community. He’s the pastor at of First United Presbyterian Church in Tarentum.
“I think that it was a fairly simple decision in the end,” Beck said. “We think that the name change is important for the community to celebrate (Blythe’s life).”
Beck said he hopes residents also will continue to live and serve the way Blythe did by practicing kindness, generosity and care for the community.
The community garden is open to anyone who would like the fruits and vegetables growth there. Anyone who takes from it is asked to help maintain it, but they aren’t required.
The group will hold its annual spring cleaning and planting event from 9 a.m. to noon April 6.
Carrie Fox, councilwoman and head of the borough’s recreation board, said she is happy to hear the news. She’s the one who first brought the idea to council’s attention.
“I am so very pleased,” she said.
The recreation board also is purchasing a memorial plaque for Blythe to place at the garden. A memorial ceremony will be held sometime this spring when the plaque is installed. A date hasn’t been set yet.
“We thought it’d be a great honor,” Fox said.
Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, [email protected] or via Twitter .