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Community garden proposed for downtown
Vegetables could be grown soon for the community on a lot in downtown Ceres. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A vacant parcel at Fifth and Lawrence streets could be growing vegetables for the community soon, thanks to a community coalition of private and public groups.

The announcement was made Monday on Facebook by Shella Joiner, owner of Addys' Boutique across the street.

Shane Parson has agreed to make the lot available for a community garden in conjunction with the city of Ceres and CivicSpark. CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address climate change and water management issues in California, administered by the Local Government Commission in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research.

"I think this could be a really, really good thing for our community," said Joiner.

Other partners in the community garden are the Ceres Garden Club, the U.C. Cooperative Extension of Stanislaus, Cultiva Salud. Potential partners include the Soroptimist International of Ceres, Project Yes, the Mom's Club, Boy Scouts Troop #9, Catholic Charities and Ceres Unified School District, FFA and ASES.

The city is planning to provide the water for the 6,500-square-foot site and vegetable washing stations.

A tentative layout for the garden is sectioned out but organizers have scheduled a public meeting for 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street (upstairs meeting room). They want persons interested in the project to come out and give input.

Volunteers would be needed to help organize volunteers as well as a ground manager to help water and maintain weeds and someone to track donations.