Community garden being developed in Trotwood

Residents will be able to grow food for themselves and other residents.

A new garden initiative in Trotwood is aimed at addressing the city’s status as a food desert while helping students learn more about the origins of their food.

The Urban Agriculture Initiative hopes creating a community garden will serve dual purposes.

Boyd Hastings, project designer for the Urban Agriculture Initiative, said he wants youth from the Trotwood’s schools to be instrumental in designing, constructing, and maintaining the garden.

“If they grow the food, they will eat it,” Hastings said. “Part of this is to get young people to know where their food comes from.”

The garden is being build on a former baseball diamond on Broadway Street in the Olde Town neighborhood.

Another mission of the garden is to provide fresh food options to residents. They can grow food for themselves as well as enough to sell to their neighbors at a farmers market.

Multiple grocery stores have closed in Trotwood over the last decade including Wal-Mart in 2007 and Cub Foods in 2013.

The Dayton Metropolitan area ranked worst in Ohio and ninth in the country in terms of food hardship, according to WHIO-TV and Dayton Daily News report on food deserts in 2015.

“It (a food desert) is determined by the accessibility of food for a community and the availability of the food,” said Hastings. “Even if the food is available, people have to be able to get to it.”

Shelly Wilson, who lives down the street from where the garden will be built, said she thinks it will be a good learning experience for those involved.

“I think it is a wonderful idea for the kids and the people who want to garden but don’t have the space in the yard to do it,” she said. “It will give the kids something fun to do this summer.”

Planting was scheduled to begin Saturday. Next summer, the Urban Agriculture Initiative plans to create community gardens in other parts of the city.