Community garden sparks partnerships


An angled photo on the corner of the church. The sign for the services is shown. Photo By: Baylie Horten


The cross that stands outside by the garden at Saint Luke's.
The cross that stands outside by the garden at Saint Luke’s. Photo by Bailey Horten

With the town of Altoona often gloomy and filled with less excitement than a two year old on timeout, Saint Luke’s Episcopal church had the idea to create a community garden to liven up the town. Reverend Josh Shipman contacted the Altoona Junior High’s head principal Lori Mangan to see if the school had any interest in participating in this community project.

(Reverend Josh Shipman)

Q: Where did the idea for the community garden come from and who was involved in the idea?

A: The church has been trying to think of ways to allow the community and church to get together. It was mostly my idea to invite the school into it because I was thinking that we are so close to the school and the partnership it could provide would be great.

Q: Do you have any plans for the garden so far, if so what are they?

A: We don’t really have anything planned yet we’re just in the beginning stages right now, and we’re still getting things together we have a planning meeting that will give us the gist of what we want to do.

Q: What do you hope the community garden does within the school itself?

A: I hope the garden creates a kind of different perspective of the school for people in the community because I think that people stereotype junior high kids. I think the garden will provide the students a way to connect to their fellow peers in the school and then community in a positive way.

Q: What are some of the clubs that will be able to participate in this and how do you determine this?

A: Any of the clubs or electives that show an interest in helping out with the garden will be able to join in the process of the garden when we get closer to the time to start it. I mean the church is very delighted to have the school kids joining us in this project so any interest is allowed.

Q: What are your hopes for the garden whether it be within the church, community or school?

A:I hope that it provides a sense of pride and ownership for the community and school. I hope that it can create a pathway for kids and the adults to form a tighter bond with the churches around, and overall that it gives positive vibes throughout.

Q: Do you think the garden will provide a window of new possibilities for the school and community to team together for more thing like this?

A: Yes I definitely think that this will open up a new door to more community partnerships and help the school get more connection to the church and the community.

Q: If the garden could teach the students and members of the community a lesson in a word or a sentence what would it be and why?

A: I hope it will teach them that community partnerships are a great thing.

Q: Where is the money for the garden coming from? Do you have certain amounts for specific things?

A: We have a grant for $500 dollars from the precinct, and we have over $200 in gift cards to hardware stores and such. We also got donations of supplies such as watering cans, seeds, shovels, gloves, other tools, and a wheelbarrow.

Q: When do you plan on starting the building and planting of the garden, and how are you going to begin the process?

A: Well we plan on starting towards the end of April beginning of May when the weather gets warmer and better to plant. We hope to start out with the building of the boxes and reconstructing the ground a bit.