Avondale's new garden lets neighbors cultivate community

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) - With spring in the air, it's the perfect time to get outside and start working on that spring garden. That's exactly what the residents of one West Ashley neighborhood are now able to do.

After years of waiting for the Charleston Parks Conservancy, the residents of Avondale have a community garden of their very own.

So far, there are 40 plots in all, and some people have already started planting some rainbow chard, kale, and some varieties of lettuce.

Margaret Grant is a loving mother and one of those new gardeners. With two mouths to feed, she's always looking for new recipes. Although she's something of a pro in the kitchen, she confesses she's quite the novice in the garden.

But now she has the opportunity to learn how to plant the foods she and her family eats every day.

"I want my family to understand and have more respect for the people who grow our food, so that's really one of the things I want to accomplish by having our own little plot," Grant said.

It's all thanks to the Charleston Parks Conservancy. For $50 per year, neighbors get their own plot to plant fresh produce and they have access to gardening classes.

Leslie Wade is the community garden coordinator. She says the garden is about healthy living, but it's also about building community relationships.

"A couple people met neighbors that were right around the corner from them that they've never met before, so they were excited to have that opportunity to meet each other," she said.

The community gardeners say they are excited to have a local place to grow their meals.

As for Grant, she just can't wait to bring her kids to the garden and put them to work.

"They have other things going on this morning, but they are going to be out here tomorrow helping out with our plot," she said.

For questions about volunteering in the garden or to lease a bed, contact Leslie Wade, the Conservancy's community garden coordinator, at

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