The December 1 decision by Communtiy Redevelopment Agency Board Members was a small step in the development of a new community garden here in Clearwater. In the distressed East Gateway area a small corner of an abandoned lot gets plenty of sun, access to water and electricity, and some existing fencing, making an ideal location for this proven community-building venture to begin.
Many Clearwater residents came to speak in favor of the Community Garden at this specific site because it would bring beauty and a sense of community to those living in that area. Community Gardens are proven to promote beauty, safety, education, healthy lifestyle, civic responsibility, environmentalism, and a sense of community, especially in an area where people are feeling disconnected from each other and their community. Voting in favor of entering into lease negotiations, CRA Board Members unanimously agreed that this would be a helpful tool to achieving their community-building objectives in that neighborhood.
Although staff members expressed some concern that the presence of a garden in that location may affect its appeal to a potential buyer, most people who spoke stated that community gardens have a positive effect on the community, and a garden in that location may even help the marketing efforts of that lot which has been vacant for over 3 years.
The community garden already has financial support promised by Nature's Food Patch and Lowes, and is operating under the 501c3 of Clearwater Garden Club (CGC). Spearheaded by Howard Warshauer, this project is an important one that will promote gardening and community as well. Any and all CGC members are invited to get involved in supporting this project.