Joseph Jankoski, executive director of the corporation, has been searching for nearly a year for a way to renovate the site into something usable.
“As we go through and try to help people in west Anniston and Calhoun County revitalize properties and bring neighborhoods back, it’s kind of tough to do that if you’re located right next to something that’s decrepit,” Jankoski said.
The board of directors decided to try a community garden because of the success of other local gardens, Jankoski said. The garden would accomplish several goals, not the least of which would be transforming something unusable into a community resource. Specifically it would provide residents with a way to supplement their food budgets and provide for themselves; the garden would also be an educational resource and a community focal point, Jankoski said.
The corporation has applied for grants from several sources including the Rotary Club, the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama and the Alabama Power Foundation for the $35,000 project. Volunteers have already been hard at work preparing the property, having removed and recycled about 4,800 pounds of metal from the site, Jankoski said.
This Saturday, the corporation is calling on the community to do additional preparatory work. The rest of the metal needs to be removed and the deteriorating building on the property needs to be cleared out and the volunteers will do some landscaping, Jankoski said.
The work day will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at 1516 West 10th St. Jankoski said volunteers should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, preferably work boots. The organization can provide work gloves. Volunteers are also urged to bring gardening tools, such as shovels, edgers, hoes and lawnmowers.