Inner city garden sprouts in Uptown Memphis


By Sandra Mathias

 An inner city garden is taking root in downtown Memphis this summer. 
 On April 21, the day before “Earth Day 2009”, a joyous ribbon cutting event was held to celebrate the ground-breaking for the “Uptown Community Garden.”
City leaders, developers, and contributors, joined Downtown and Uptown residents taking shovel in hand to plant their seeds in the raised beds of this unique communal garden.
 First Church Pastor Martha Wagley attended the event to honor her congregation.
With assistance from several neighborhood children, the Rev. Wagley planted a small “preacher tomato” in the First Church bed. Other varieties of vegetables will be added in the coming weeks.
The project was spearheaded by Tanja Mitchell, Community Development Coordinator, Uptown Partnership.
The land donated for the garden space was given by the Rev. Elmer Shelton of St. Stephen Baptist Church. Grow Memphis provided the young plants and the seeds.
 First United Methodist Church, Girls, Inc., Neighborhood Christian Center, BRIDGES, and Golden Child Ministries / Church of the Holy Communion have started planting vegetables such as strawberries, beans, tomatoes, beets and radishes.
Additional beds are now being built to accommodate new requests to join the community garden. •