Community garden coming to Ferry schools

MARTINS FERRY – The students and community members in the Martins Ferry City School District will be getting some green thumbs soon, with a community garden coming to the district property.

Clay Sheldon delivered a presentation to the school board, noting that the school has been awarded a community garden grant of $2,000, thanks mainly to the work of Paul Matuska.

“The grant is basically designed so that anybody in the Martins Ferry community that wants to work on it, they can work on it and enjoy some of the bounty. It also benefits the students where we get them out and get them into horticulture,” he said.

Sheldon added that the project calls for features in the interest of keeping up the aesthetics in the school. These include a white resin fence to keep out deer and landscaping costs. He added that they are looking into acquiring railroad ties by donation for the raised bed, as well as a tiller and mulch. The garden would be located near the loading dock at the middle school due to the proximity of utilities.

“It keeps the aesthetics in the school,” he said, adding that the produce from the garden could also be useful to the cafeteria. He noted that students and teachers have expressed an interest in participating and providing labor and assisting with seed beds. Sheldon said they were making an effort to involve every discipline in the district, such as the science department and woodshop.

“Anybody who wants to help is more than welcome to, because it is a community garden,” he said.

He requested the board provide matching funds of $2,000. He noted the need for top soil. The board agreed and several members suggested possible deals and further involvement from community organizations such as the Lions Club.

Sheldon added that in the long term, they hope to find a green house and possibly raise plants, vegetables and prom carnations for sale.

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