When North College Hill WeTHRIVE! team member Carla Belcher started planning a community garden, the response was positive. “Everybody I talked to welcomed the idea of having a garden and they all were really excited about the potential that it could bring to the community,” said the North College Hill resident.
This enthusiasm started with the NCH school district. “The schools were really, really open to the idea,” Carla said. She worked with middle school teacher Elizabeth Keller, superintendent Eugene Blalock, Jr., and treasurer Nick Martin to bring together the partners and funding to build the NCH School and Community Garden.
The garden is a true community effort, with a long list of partners and supporters:
- Greater Cincinnati Foundation
- L&L Nippert Charitable Foundation
- Home Depot
- Cradle Cincinnati
- Queens Village
- University of Cincinnati
- Miami University
- Hamilton County Planning + Development
- City of North College Hill
- North College Hill City Schools
As the garden grows, people are starting to take notice. “The community is really getting into it,” Carla said. “Because the garden sits on a corner that’s so visible, people are constantly seeing it and stopping to see what it’s all about. They’re watching over it like it is their property.”
Even in the heat of summer, the community came through when Carla recently had surgery and wasn’t able to tend the garden. “Someone is out there every day,” Carla said. “Shari Blessing and others in the building have been helping out all summer. They come out on their lunch break and water and take care of it.”
Carla sees the garden as a way to build the community connections needed to impact things like crime, poverty, and infant mortality in North College Hill.
“I’m so proud of everyone,” she said. “I love our little city. We have lots of issues, but I’m so proud we’ve been able to all come together to make this happen.”
You can get involved with WeTHRIVE! in North College Hill:
- For more information about the garden, contact Carla Belcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For more information about the NCH WeTHRIVE! team, contact Mimi Anderson at email@example.com.
- Visit WeTHRIVE! North College Hill on Facebook!
Carla Belcher is a 2018 WeTHRIVE! Community Champion.
Check out our other stories featuring WeTHRIVE! in North College Hill: