Veterans Garden reopens after relocating from Stanley White Center
It is a kind of garden of victory in peacetime.
During World War II, Americans were encouraged to contribute to the war effort by growing vegetables in home gardens.
Today in New Bern, the Veteran Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden is waging a different war, helping veterans while teaching underprivileged children responsibility and giving them an income.
The garden, which had been operating for eight years under the watchful eye of its founder, Lovay Wallace-Singleton, reopened on Friday in a location where you would usually not expect to find a multitude of flowers, herbs and plants. vegetables: in a parking lot on Pollock Street – 1235 Pollock Street to be exact. Originally it was in a more traditional location – land that was part of the Stanley White Recreation Center.
“When the City of New Bern made the decision to demolish the Stanley White Recreation Center, they told us we could stay in this area, but we would be the only ones there,” Wallace-Singleton said. “We decided to move. But where to move? “
PO Rodgers, Bishop of Dayspring Ministries offered them the parking lot, and for six months Wallace-Singleton and his workers and volunteers worked to move the gardens – and are still working. Many of the plants are grown in hoops which have not yet been installed across the street.
She first started the gardens, she said, when “we noticed there were issues with some veterans coming back and adjusting to life after the military. In addition to teaching them gardening, the Veterans Garden also helped veterans fill out applications and build resumes, and hold annual Stand Downs where veterans could “come back to base camp to freshen up.”
The Gardens also emphasizes working with disabled veterans. The garden is specially designed to facilitate navigation for veterinarians in wheelchairs.
The garden is a colorful place – the surrounding fence is adorned with flags, and inside are tables and benches and porch swings, and two or three stalls or three-sided structures where visitors and veterans alike can. relax, and where the gardens will begin their market on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All around, herbs and flowers grow in pots, and the buildings are decorated with old pewter signs.
Wallace-Singleton said the gardens are working with the Boys and Girls Club to get young people involved in gardening and selling; a bank also helps them teach them financial responsibility with the money they receive. Volunteers – including the Cherry Point Marines, are also helping.
The garden is operated from January 16 to November 14 each year.