Mayor hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for Shelby County Community Gardens

Mayor hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for Shelby County Community Gardens

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Now's a good time to start gardening, and Shelby County leaders are encouraging folks to pit up the hobby.

Friday, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris helped kick off the gardening season during a ribbon cutting at the Shelby County Community Gardens.

While gardening may be a new hobby for some during the coronavirus pandemic, Bill McLaughlin has been at it for over 25 years.

It was fitting that he joined Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris during the ribbon cutting of the Shelby County Community Garden Friday.

“After a few meetings, and meeting the new team, we find ourselves embarking upon a new gardening season,” McLaughlin said during the ceremony.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris took the podium to speak.

“As everybody knows there’s been a lot of change in the last 60 days as we have grappled with the spread of COVID-19. But one of the things that hasn’t changed over these last 60 days is our desire to get outdoors, to enjoy our natural environment and to work in our gardens,” he said.

Gardening will be free, but those interested in gardening at the Shelby County Community Gardens must reserve their plots in advance. There's already a waiting list.

Harris said of the wait list, “We do have a lot of demand but we are going to continue to try to expand this program and invest in the Shelby County Community Gardens.”

The University of Tennessee TSU extension will be available to offer their expertise to new gardeners.

UT-TSU Extension Chris Cooper, Ph.D said, “We are you one stop shop for gardening information.”

Gardening season goes from May until October.

County Mayor Harris stated, “We do have a lot of gardeners who come back year after year. So that's great! We have over a hundred new gardeners who will get a plot this year and come out for the first time and try their green thumb as it were.”

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