UHRICHSVILLE (WJER) (Feb. 8, 2022) – The group working to address the drug problem in the Twin Cities is making plans to convert a vacant lot in Uhrichsville into a community garden.
Diana Smith heads up the 922 Initiative that formed during the opioid crisis to draw attention to the resources available to assist those struggling with addiction. She says the garden they’re envisioning will have raised beds for vegetables, a sensory area, and a place for visitors to plant a flower in memory of a lost loved one.
“It’s going to be like a little remembrance garden, so if a kid had lost their parent and they want to come down and plant a flower, that’s their flower and that’s their place they can come and remember their parent or their aunt or uncle that they lost.”
The city of Uhrichsville donated the land for the garden, which is in the floodplain near where the low-head dam once stood. Smith says it will be a source of fresh produce for food-insecure families and a place where kids dealing with issues at home can channel their energy into something beneficial.
“It’s going to teach the kids, look, if you’ve got downtime, instead of going and getting in trouble or turning to drugs, come down to the garden. Help us weed it. Help us plant the tomato plants and the beans and the corn.”
Smith says they’re going to need all the helpers they can get once the planting season arrives. Those wanting to assist can message the group through its Facebook page or show up to one of its meetings. They’re held the first Tuesday of each month at noon in the Uhrichsville City Building.