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Earth Day celebration set at 3 community garden sites

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Volunteers will get their hands dirty in the garden when West Virginia State University Extension Service's SCRATCH Project hosts an Earth Day celebration at three community garden sites in Huntington from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 27.

The event is being held in conjunction with the university's WVSU Cares Day of community service.

The garden sites, located at the Maudella Taylor, Barnett and A.D. Lewis community centers, will host work parties to spruce up the gardens for the spring season. WVSU Extension Service staff and partners will present educational workshops for adults throughout the day on topics such as starting a garden and container gardening.

"We invite everyone in the community to be part of what we're doing with the kids at these sites," said Brady Arthur, WVSU extension agent and director of the SCRATCH Project in a release.

The community centers have become official sites for participation in the inaugural WVSU Cares Day, which brings together WVSU alumni, faculty, staff and students to perform volunteer work on a variety of projects.

The SCRATCH Project was launched last year by WVSU Extension Service to bring more locally grown and healthy food into Huntington by educating youth about gardening and sustainability. Kid-based community gardens are functional at each of the three project sites. Partners including Verizon Wireless, Huntington's Kitchen and Unlimited Future provide resources such as technology and education about nutrition and business. One goal of the project is to have the kids become young entrepreneurs, with their produce being sold to local restaurants and shops.

The Barnett Center is located in 1524 10th Ave., A.D. Lewis Community Center is located at 1450 A.D. Lewis Ave., and Maudella Taylor Garden is located at 1448 11th Ave., in Huntington.

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute.