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Children dig in at community garden
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Evelyn Marquez, 6, uses a large shovel to help plant a community garden at Melrose Apartments. - photo by NAT GURLEY

The Gainesville Housing Authority kicked off a community garden project Wednesday with a lot of little help at Melrose Apartments.

About 30 children from the Melrose complex signed up for weekly garden club meetings at the Innovation Station community center behind the Davis Street public apartment complex. They munched on healthy snacks before planting 14 types of vegetables, herbs and flowers in the wood mulch behind the center.

“We plant things that grow quickly and easily,” said Housing Authority interim Executive Director Beth Brown. “We plan to expand to Tower Heights and Harrison Square Apartments.”

Brown said the Melrose Garden Club will meet on Tuesdays to garden, cook and prepare food such salads, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and healthy dishes with help from a Brenau University student to lead the 12-week program. The garden project will fold into an existing partnership with Brenau’s RISE summer learning program and the Housing Authority, Brown said.

Green for the greens came from a grant of about $4,900 from District 2 of the Georgia Department of Public Health, Brown said.