Get Growing

By Amanda Ensinger
Staff Writer

The Prairie Township Community Center has plans to grow.

Center officials announced plans to build a small space community garden that residents can participate in. This garden, which is different from the neighborhood community gardens they hope to launch this spring, is for residents who live in apartments, condos, townhomes or other smaller spaces with little to no yard.

“We are working with Creative Mobile Interiors to build a small dome to start this small space garden,” said James Gant, director of the community center. “We found something online that we want to replicate at the community center and they are helping us build it.”

This will be the second time the community center has explored small space gardens. Last summer, they grew several plants in milk containers and displayed them at the center. The idea behind the project was to show residents they can grow plants in any space, regardless of if they have a yard.

This effort is part of the community center’s overall goal of encouraging residents to live healthier lives through healthy eating and exercise.

According to Gant, they plan to build the dome at the community center and have it on display.

“This will be a trial run and if it is successful, we will have others built at different locations throughout the township,” Gant said.

The goal of the program is to have fresh produce more easily accessible to all township residents.

The community center is also moving forward with their community conversation meetings in an effort to get feedback from township residents.

At the two meetings that have taken place this year, residents have been asked what recreational programs they would like to see.

Gant said they need to hear from a few more residents before they will move on to the next phase of these community conversations.

“We need to hear from a larger percentage of the community,” he said. “If we hear from more residents, we can put together a better plan that meets a majority of residents wants and needs.”

While Gant describes this incentive as a work in progress, he did say the feedback they received from the community would shape the future of the township’s parks and recreation department.

Gant said they also hope to eventually create an advisory board that will help push the wants of the residents further.

“Via these community conversations, we hope to identify people who are interested in the township and executing some of these initiatives,” Gant said. “We hope in the near future to formulate a strategic plan for how all of this will be executed and next steps in this process.”

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