Houston, TX, September 25, 2023 – As a leader in innovation within the gardening industry, Vego Garden remains committed to fostering positive change and recovery in local communities through the transformative power of gardening.
With unwavering dedication to this mission, we have proudly joined hands with Unity Park and Community Gardens in Lenoir, North Carolina, providing our signature raised garden beds to bolster the city's community garden initiative. Since its inception in 2010, this initiative has united residents in the shared pursuit of cultivating fresh produce and promoting healthier eating habits in the face of pressing food and economic security challenges.
Set in the backdrop of Lenoir, once a thriving manufacturing town, the Unity Park Community Gardens initiative has been instrumental in restoring community pride and forging a resilient spirit among its residents in the wake of economic hardships and adversity.
Rebuilding a Community Through Gardening
Around the time of the conception of Unity Park and Community Gardens in Lenoir, the city had grappled with the loss of 8,000 manufacturing jobs within a mere five years. The resultant economic downturn cast a shadow over the community, highlighting the pressing need for revitalization and renewed hope.
Hope arrived in the form of a collaborative effort involving the City, Caldwell Memorial Hospital, and Caldwell Community Gardens—a passionate local citizen group dedicated to gardening and addressing food security issues. This group initially envisioned a modest community garden project that symbolized community unity and rejuvenation. The success of a 24-bed neighborhood garden inspired the City and the hospital to envision a larger-scale undertaking.
This remarkable partnership transformed a once-vacant 5-acre factory site into the thriving Unity Park and Community Gardens in 2010. Thanks to a two-year FIT community grant from the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund, the site now stands as a source of community pride, featuring 102 raised garden beds for communal use, a fruit orchard, a garden tool shed, rainwater catchment tanks, a berry patch, and a dedicated walking path.
Cultivating Renewed Pride
Since the establishment of Lenoir's initial community garden, the Unity Park initiative has blossomed into a flourishing gardening movement, boasting numerous beds that yield healthy produce daily—notably, the community encourages sustainable, pesticide-free farming. Any community member can sign up to maintain a garden bed for a nominal annual rental fee.
Today, Unity Park Community Garden stands as a testament to the resilience of its residents and the success of its partner organizations. As a key contributor to the community garden, Vego Garden is proud to play a part in enhancing access to healthier food sources and promoting gardening education in Lenoir. This partnership results in annual donations exceeding 3,500 pounds of food to individuals and local food agencies.
Vego Garden's innovative and durable beds have become a central feature in Unity Park's community sharing area, replacing aging wooden beds and integrating seamlessly into the garden's overall design. Equipped with drip irrigation systems and solar panels to optimize yields, these beds are readily accessible to the community and maintained by volunteers and the local Master Gardener Association. They cultivate an ever-expanding variety of organic produce, distributed for public consumption.
Beyond increasing access to nutritious garden produce for Lenoir's residents, this collaborative effort serves to raise public awareness about the importance of healthy diets and the healing potential of nature, all while instilling a sense of communal pride.
Sowing the Seeds of Hope
At Vego Garden, we firmly believe in the transformative power of gardening and its profound capacity to bring about positive change and inspire hope. Our partnership with the Unity Park Community Garden and the City of Lenoir is a shining testament to this unwavering conviction.
With a resolute commitment to social responsibility and supporting gardening communities, Vego Garden takes immense pride in contributing to the city's rejuvenation and realizing the vision of the Unity Park movement. Together, we strive to catalyze positive change through sustainable gardening practices, promote access to healthy food sources, and sow the seeds of hope for a brighter future.