VINES, FEN to open community garden in Johnson City

JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. - An organization that plants community gardens is launching its first project outside of the City of Binghamton.

VINES, which stands for Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, is assisting the Family Enrichment Network in opening a garden on property FEN owns on Sherman Street in Johnson City.

Together, the organizations will construct a series of raised garden beds for community members to rent for $20 per growing season.

Plus, FEN will reserve several beds to be planted by children attending programs at its nearby headquarters, with some of the produce grown used to feed the kids.

VINES Executive Director Amelia LoDolce says the organization already canvassed the neighborhood to confirm there's interest.

"Community gardens are as much about growing community as growing food. Because of the age we're in, It's harder for neighbors to get to know each other. And when you come together at a garden, people are more likely to talk to one another, and make connections in their neighborhood," said LoDolce.

This garden represents VINES 12th since it was founded 10 years ago.

It recently launched a campaign to reach a total of 20 gardens throughout the valley by 2020.

It's being helped in the cause by a grant from the Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation which provided funding for eight more gardens, including the one in JC.

LoDolce says the garden will cost about $10,000 to install.

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