NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (Nov. 18, 2015) – Members and participants of the community and the East Madison Growers Association held a ribbon cutting in early November celebrating the opening of the new Grand Gardens on Grand Boulevard in New Port Richey (5721 Grand Blvd., NPR).
The project is being developed through funding and support from Friendship Farms & Fare, Nature Coast Real Food Project, Ecology Florida, East Madison Growers Club, the Green Commerce Association, and local residents. The establishment of the Grand Gardens is also made possible through New Port Richey’s trend-setting Urban Agriculture Ordinance, which promotes the transformation of vacant lots in the City into productive community gardens.
Working in collaboration with the property owners, Gary Gann and Steven DeMatos, whose business is adjacent to the gardens, the project will include individual gardening plots available to anyone for a modest donation and a commitment to assist with the project while learning how to grow vegetables in Florida. In addition to the individual plots, a larger community garden will be maintained by participants.
The centerpiece of the garden is herb garden artistically fashioned using 100-year old bricks Mr. Gann saved while the city was doing road repair a few years ago. Many years ago Grand Boulevard was called Old Dixie Highway, and it was paved with bricks. Mr. Gann saved the archaic brick that workers dug up hoping they’d come into good use in the future. Commenting on the bricks, project facilitator, Dell deChant from Ecology Florida observed: “Reusing these bricks from an earlier phase of our history harmonizes with the vision of Ecology Florida to restore and reenvision contemporary culture — using the best from the past in respectful and creative ways.”
The opening also included a lady bug release, an inaugural address, and information brochures. Those attending received milkweed seeds as part of the Ecology Florida project to help restore Monarch butterfly communities in Florida.
During the dedication of the gardens, deChant also observed that unlike high-cost projects and programs so popular with municipalities today, Grand Gardens enriches the city and builds community with no additional cost to the city, no special favors asked, no expensive consultants and, no made demands on city staff.
“So, while we see many unfinished and struggling projects around New Port Richey, we can look with pride to Grand Gardens and other gardens like it as a success and an example of how to transform a community without having to spend a lot of money and bring in ‘experts’ and their trail of fees.”
Grand Gardens is located at the South West corner of Georgia and Grand Blvd. in New Port Richey — 5721 Grand Blvd. For information about the gardens contact Travis Morehead at (727) 271-2333.
Ecology Florida advances the harmonious integration of healthy natural, cultural,
and economic ecologies to regenerate a sustainable world
Nature Coast Real Food Project educates our community on the benefits of chemical-free food
Friendship Farms & Fare affirms and advances agrarian ideals to reestablish a sustainable culture
East Madison Growers Club is a “growing” group of neighbors that are dedicated to the visual and social improvement of New Port Richey’s East Madison neighborhood.
Green Commerce Association is dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and assisting businesses and residents of West Pasco in developing a resilient and sustainable community http://gca.us.org/#directorypage
City of New Port Richey Environmental Committee explores new environmental initiatives for consideration and funding by the city council, advises the city council, and may render special reports to the city council as the members may deem necessary.