Both Statesboro’s experienced and novice home-gardeners got a look at their new plot Saturday, brainstorming ways the community garden can build community and healthy habits within neighborhoods.

“We’ve gone through a lot,” said City Councilwoman, Paulette Chavers. “This pandemic was something that none of us ever imagined would hit our homes… A lot of us became in-bound, and we couldn’t do a whole lot.”

Chavers hoped the garden would boost morale and foster better mental health in Statesboro communities following the COVID-19 pandemic. Gardening improves both physical and mental health, combining physical activity, social interaction, healthy eating and exposure to sunlight that’s rich in Vitamin D and is great at making your brain release happy chemicals.

“This community garden is a way for the community to come together as a unit and put their hands in the dirt and produce something that gives the community a sense of pride,” said Chavers.

At Saturday’s interest meeting, attendees shouted out ideas for the garden, dreaming of an Eden with raised beds full of fresh produce open for the neighborhoods’ picking and grapevine-shaded areas to park the kids and rest.

Sharing was especially important to attendees. No raised bed will belong to one person, and harvesting and planting should be open to all, they agreed.

The plot of land at the corner of Bay Street and West Main Street was given to the community by the Habitat for Humanity, and the funding for the garden will come through donations made to Habitat that are designated for the community garden.

“We can build all kinds of stuff,” said Marcus Toole, outreach coordinator for Habitat for Humanity, “If we can find the money to do it.”

Donations for the community garden in cash or in materials can be accepted as donations to Habitat for Humanity of Bulloch County as long as it’s designated for the community garden in the ‘notes’ section.

They have created a Boro Community Garden Facebook group. Click Here to join.