Thrive Lonsdale Creating Community Garden Through City's Homemaker Program

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Thrive Lonsdale Creating Community Garden Through City's Homemaker Program

Posted: 11/18/2015
community garden in Mechanicsville A nonprofit group is creating a community garden in Lonsdale that will offer plots to local families, as well as fruit trees and berry bushes that will provide produce for the whole community.

City Council on Oct. 27 approved the sale of a parcel at 1229 Louisiana Ave. to Thrive Lonsdale, a nonprofit organization that serves children in the neighborhood. The organization plans to convert the parcel of land into a community garden. 

“We are so excited to be working with the City’s urban agriculture initiative and to be providing the Lonsdale community with a place to steward their gifts,” said Beth Aaser, Thrive Lonsdale’s garden director. 

The lot was sold to Thrive Lonsdale through the City Community Development Department’s Homemaker Program, which makes vacant, often dilapidated properties available for sale to nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, private developers and individuals with the stipulation that the owner rehabilitates the existing structure, builds a new dwelling or maintains the vacant lot.

“In this case, the parcel is unbuildable, so a neighborhood garden is a perfect use for this vacant lot,” said Becky Wade, City Community Development Director.

Aaser added: “Our desire is to see an abandoned lot turned into a beautiful and welcoming space. Functionally, this garden will house raised garden beds for 20 local families along with communal fruit trees and berry bushes.”

Thrive Lonsdale aims to create an opportunity for residents whose families historically have farmed by providing a space to grow food. The garden is centrally located in the middle of Lonsdale, directly across from Lonsdale Elementary School.

While the garden will be a public area and its fruit trees will offer shared communal produce, only families that are awarded a plot will be permitted to grow plants in the garden. Families will be interviewed and selected based on interest and need. Aaser will oversee maintenance of the common spaces. For more information or to find out how to donate money, materials or labor, visit thrivelonsdale.com.