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VINES non-profit preps for its 21st community garden in Broome County

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ENDICOTT (WBNG) -- VINES, a local non-profit, prepped the site of the latest community garden to come to Broome County located in Endicott along the 300 block of Squires Avenue. As a result of the upcoming October 16th building effort, there will then be 21 VINES community gardens in Broome County.

"It took about a year, or a little less even, from the time we first met here, drew up the proposal, got it submitted, and received the grant. And now we're working on it," said Joshua Kennedy, a design and proposal team member for the project.

Christina Zawerucha, the community gardens program manager for VINES, said the Squires Avenue site was donated by an anonymous donor. The donor had just inherited the property and wanted to see something beautiful done with the space.

When it comes to the garden's design, it will have 20 raised beds and other features.

"Each of these beds is rented out by a different household. So people can apply to join this garden. It's open to anybody in the community," said Zawerucha. "It costs 25 dollars per year and then people can volunteer one hour a month in order to have a slot in this garden."

There are exceptions to her rule, however. VINES offers full scholarships upon request.

"A community garden can improve a neighborhood even for the people who are not members of that garden," said Zawerucha. "It improves property value, it improves safety, it increases pride in the neighborhood, it creates a gathering space. This garden is designed to be open and welcoming to the community."

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Jill Croce

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