Words by: Treasure Glover
On Monday, FAMU students made their way to the Providence community garden to take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Providence Community Garden Expansions and Improvements service event. Students and community members joined together to help build grow boxes, plant trees, upgrade the water system and lay compost in an effort to restore their environment on this historic day.
For Janice E. Jackson, a graduate Reading Certification Studies major at FAMU, the gardening alongside her neighbors and peers brought back old memories as she honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with service.
“It takes me back to childhood truthfully, that’s what it feels like,” said Jackson. “Pushing the wheelbarrow, seeing the hammering, digging in the dirt, and pouring water, I feel young.”
Graduate African-American Studies major and Food Science minor Trenton Malu Brooks saw this event as an opportunity to continue love of of farming after transferring from Gainesville, Fla. this Spring.
“I wanted to start farming, but I just moved to Tallahassee. So this this was one of the first places that I was introduced to,” said Brooks.
Both students were inspired by the day’s events and plan to continue working in the garden in the weeks to come.
“I don’t get paid to be here so it is all voluntary, but this is where I want to be. It’s where I’d rather be,” said Brooks
The MLK Jr. Day gardening event is just the beginning for the growth of the garden according to Monet Moore, one of Providence community’s organizers.
“I have big goals for this community garden. Today was just the one mile marker in the marathon,” said Moore.
Future plans include hydroponics, incorporating the community’s after school program, teaching community members self-sufficiency through gardening, and much more.
Walter William McDonald III, President of the Providence Community Neighborhood Association, believes that this service event not only enhances food security in the Providence community garden, but it also challenges its residents to put the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into action.
“This is a fulfillment of Martin Luther King dream,”said McDonald. “We are here today in this garden as former slave owners and former slaves working together to better our neighborhood.”