I attended “Community Build Day” at the Smith Street Community Garden in Lowell to volunteer with Mill City Grows. The opportunity was not only informative but also very inspiring. There were about 25 people there to volunteer alongside Lydia and Francie, the co-founders of the organization. The neighborhood the garden is located in is very congested, and the garden brings much needed beauty to a sea of concrete and buildings.
Twenty-one new raised beds were built and filled with loam from a local farm. In just two days, this lot was transformed from an overgrown, litter-filled eyesore to a beautiful community garden. It was clear that people were proud of their accomplishments and felt a sense of control over their environment. I must admit that I, too, felt the pride with them, having contributed to beautifying their neighborhood. It would be impossible to argue against such a cost-effective way to create healthier lives at a local level.