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Huntington Community Gardens Celebration set

Oct. 27, 2012 @ 12:20 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Volunteers who have helped turn vacant lots into community gardens will celebrate their accomplishments and bid farewell to their efforts as they turn the gardens over to neighborhood-run groups.

The Huntington Community Gardens celebration will occur from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, at the Barnett Center, 1524 10th Ave.

During the past four years, volunteers with the initiative have planted five gardens in Fairfield West and helped plant a few more in other areas of the city. They have used the gardens to educate children and adults on the benefits of sustainable living and organic gardening as well as provide healthy food for those in need. The gardens produced more than 500 pounds of food to residents, local food pantries and the Huntington Area Food Bank this year alone, said Eve Marcum-Atkinson, Huntington Community Gardens project coordinator.

"The amount of volunteer and community support has been really humbling," she said. "It's beautiful to be a part of something that so many people wanted to give up their time for and see it grow."

Starting next year, three community gardens on Minton Street will be turned over to the Fairfield West Improvement Council, Marcum-Atkinson said. The garden at the Barnett Center is still in need of an official caretaker, she said. The SCRATCH Sustainable Community Project, which is an outgrowth of Huntington Community Gardens, took over the Maudella Taylor Garden behind the A.D. Lewis Community Center last year.

During Wednesday's Halloween-themed party, which is free and open to the public, there will be a costume contest with hot dogs for dinner and roasted marshmallows for dessert. Donations for the event can be made by going to www.facebook.com/hcgwv.