Leisure Lakes Community Garden unveils plans for a fruit orchard

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The Leisure Lakes Community Garden, led by Sharon Hobbs, recently hosted an open house and tree giveaway event–attracting over 75 community members. In collaboration with the Department of Forestry and the Washington County Health Department, the event aimed to promote healthy lifestyles and the benefits of community gardening.

The Department of Forestry supplied a variety of trees to attendees, while the Health Department provided education on the importance of a healthy lifestyle and the role community gardens play in achieving it. The open house also served as a platform to unveil the Community Garden’s ambitious plans for the future.

Sharon Hobbs has been involved in the Leisure Lakes Community Garden, which is looking to bring about a fruit orchard. [CONTRIBUTED] 

The mission of the Leisure Lakes Community Garden is to establish a sustainable garden that fosters connectedness, friendship, and a sense of belonging among residents. One of the goals behind the Garden is to secure seed funding to jump-start the creation of a fruit orchard.

“The dream of a Community Garden first began when several of us got together to deliver Christmas stockings and fruit baskets to some of our aging neighbors that aren’t able to get out and about very easily,” Hobbs said. “They were so appreciative because they didn’t usually get to buy fresh fruits due to the rising cost. It ripped at our heartstrings and so the search began. Now we have the answer to a prayer in Leisure Grove, the first Leisure Lakes Community Garden made possible through caring neighbors.”

The envisioned fruit orchard will contain 100 fruit trees and bushes, adding a new dimension to the community garden. To support this initiative, the garden has recruited 25 neighborhood volunteers and identified 21 elderly and disabled neighbors who will receive gift baskets of fresh fruit upon harvest.

The project received a significant boost from a special funding grant provided by the Washington County Health Department. This financial support has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the orchard and ensuring that the garden can continue to serve as a vibrant community hub.