By Justin Jones, Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 —
As the shovels hit the dirt for a groundbreaking ceremony at Monarch’s Stanly Industrial Services building, the new community garden was ready to be planted.
Monarch, who is a local leader in supporting people with developmental and intellectual disabilities, held the groundbreaking for its MAGICAL garden last Tuesday afternoon.
MAGICAL, an abbreviation for the Monarch Ability Garden Integrating Com-munity and Land project, was designed and will be implemented in a location off Greenwood Street to provide a local garden where people can learn more about gardening and each other.
The distinction about this garden is that it is also meant to be planted and enjoyed by the community, together.
“This garden will be a place of celebration, remembrance and awareness,” said Kerry Martin, the site manager for the MAGICAL garden in Albemarle.
“It will build a bridge between the community and the people we support.”
Jeff Reaves, advisor in both the organization and horticultural aspects of the garden, said the garden is already developing friendships and hopes to see that continue.
“Community gardens are always really good in the sense that it brings different kind of folks together,” he said.
“Anybody in the community can come and be a part of what we’re trying to do here. I’m looking forward to that.”
Martin said that while the community is welcome to the produce that is available next year, she said it will be enjoyed by the people Monarch supports, of which many were on hand at Tuesday’s groundbreaking, as well as other non-profits such as Homes of Hope or the Community Table.
“This is all about building friendships,” Martin said.
“Our garden will grow fruits, vegetables, flowers and friendships.”
The garden in Albemarle is one of three gardens Monarch is developing across North Carolina.