Today Kelly Jackson, Hopkinsville Beautification Commission Chairman and University of Kentucky-County Extension Office Horticulture Agent, announced the planting of a community orchard and garden on Broad Street. Another example of ongoing collaborative Inner-City REZ revitalization efforts, this project truly showcases the continued importance of public/private partnerships.
Located two blocks from Challenge House I on Central Avenue, the orchard reflects the vision of Challenge House ambassadors Nathan and Ellen Ragsdale. It will consist primarily of apple and pear trees and provide the neighborhood with access to free, fresh fruit.
Considering the several years it may take for orchard trees to bear fruit, plans include installation and planting of brambles and strawberries in raised beds. This will allow the garden to produce for area residents during its first year.
Jackson noted, “People need more fruits and vegetables in their diet. Community orchards can be a valuable asset to our neighborhoods because they provide easy access to fresh produce. After talking with the Ragsdales, we felt like the orchard would be an easy first step in gathering community support. And since the partnerships for funding, maintenance, and land were already available, this project made sense.”
The Hopkinsville and Christian County Landbank Authority owns the land where Broad Street Community Orchard is planted. The land is leased to Challenge House, Inc. for the orchard. Christian County Extension Office will oversee tree planting and has partnered with the Micah Mission Center for funding of plants, lumber, and compost. The Ragsdales have agreed to then maintain the orchard.
For additional information about the orchard, please contact Kelly Jackson at (270) 886-6328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about Challenge House, please visit challengehouse.org.