The community that plants together grows together.
With that in mind, the latest addition to Trophy Club will be the Harmony Park Community Garden. Approved by the Town Council at its meeting in late January, the garden is on its way now that the winter weather is gone.
"The key word is community," said Berna Senelly of Keep Trophy Club Wild. "We are looking at schools, churches, anyone who is interested in being a part of this."
Keep Trophy Club Wild is an environmental program made up of area volunteers and funded by membership dues that is designed to protect and preserve about 450 acres of undisturbed conservation area inside the Trophy Club Park.
The group, founded in January of 2014, also places a heavy emphasis on educating the public about conservation, making the group and the garden a natural fit.
The Community Garden will be located at Harmony Park, which is on the east side of town at the end of Indian Creek. The Parks Department will contribute initial site work and infrastructure construction with a budget of $3,355 approved by the Town Council.
Trophy Club Mayor Nick Sanders praised the Council for its unanimous approval of the garden, expressing his own excitement at the town's new addition.
"The Girl Scouts, Keep Trophy Club Wild members and other resident volunteers worked hard over the past several months with the Parks and Recreation Department to establish a plan to create and manage the garden, and the Town Council unanimously agreed the garden would be a great addition to Harmony Park," Sanders said. "I can’t wait to taste some organic vegetables grown in the Community Garden."
The garden will include approximately 15 plots that are 4 feet by 8 feet, seven that are 4x4, and 5-10 that are 2x8.
The latter will accommodate elderly and physically-challenged participants, said Bonnie Seraphine.
"I kept seeing these (gardens) pop up in other towns, and I thought how cool it would be to have one in our beautiful town," Seraphine said. "I thought it would be beneficial for our community. Trophy Club has been busting at the seams and instead of another commercial building, I thought why not a community garden?"
Seraphine made a simple posting on Facebook about her thought last May, and it seemed a lot of others were thinking the same thing.
"Once it got out there on Facebook it got a life of its own," she said. "It is interesting how it all came together. A lot of people with a lot of common interests joined in, and that's what a community garden is all about."
In the garden, for a nominal fee yet to be decided (though Senelly says it will be "less than three digits") folks can have a plot on which they can grow plants, flowers, vegetables, or any combination. Seraphine and Senelly are encouraging organic vegetables, along with plants and flowers native to the region, for health and educational reasons.
"At Keep Trophy Club Wild we are very interested in people understanding the ecosystem, and this will help them," said Senelly. "They'll learn what organic is all about.
The garden will be managed by a lead gardener, yet to be named. Keep Trophy Club Wild members and the local Trophy Club Girl Scout Troop 3909 will also participate.
In fact, it was three members of the troop who presented research to city officials on community gardens and provided ideas on making it successful. It was part of their Silver Award project for Medlin Middle School students Naomi Hicks, Madison Davis and Sydney Barrow.
"We have such a supportive community, and many people were saying it would be a great idea," said Naomi.
Madison said that working on a project together, “brings the community together and helps strengthen the community.”
"I thought it would be a great idea to have the community raise organic vegetables," Sydney said.
Troop 3909 leader Lori Hicks said
the work on the garden is teaching the troop members leadership skills and the benefits of working together.
"They're learning you can have an idea, and with hard work you can see it to fruition," Hicks said.
If, as expected, the garden is popular, Seraphine would like to see another one.
"We're hopeful the town will see the success of this, and let us have one on the other side of town (west)," she said.