Highland garden wins top honors
On Sept. 10, the new Highland Avenue Community Garden was recognized with two prestigious community garden awards.
Franklin Park Conservatory’s Growing to Green program awarded Sedrick Dessin, a 10-year-old Hilltop resident, the Youth Leadership Award for his hard work and enthusiasm in the garden. On top of this, the garden itself was named the 2009 Community Garden of the Year.
According to the judges, “This successful project resulted in a unique collaboration among the Hilltop residents, the faith-based community, local nonprofit groups and youth programs, inspiring so many people and proving there is hope even in these difficult times.”
The Highland garden, the judges said, “has become a source of renewed strength for Hilltop residents, from children to the elderly. In the garden, they have found new opportunities, discovering a way to meet their own needs by putting healthy food on the table.”
In accepting the award on behalf of the many Highland gardeners, garden leader Dan Downing announced plans to create more community gardens around the Hilltop next year.
For the Youth Leadership Award, the judges praised Dessin, a fifth-grade student at Highland Elementary School, for his work in the Hilltop Prime Time program.
“From day one, Sedrick Dessin was curious about everything in the garden, from the rocks and soil, to the plants and insects that inhabited it....Sedrick worked hard to plant the corn, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and much more. He always took the lead and encouraged other children to weed, water and look for ripe vegetables. Sedrick has also become well versed in what to do with these vegetables after they are harvested. With his family’s help, Sedrick made zucchini bread for all the youth in the program....they licked their plates clean!”
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