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Big expansion, improvements coming to community garden that serves Indy's near north side

Community garden in Indy's near north side to get big expansion
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Posted at 12:56 PM, Oct 15, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A community garden serving the near north side of Indianapolis for nearly 80 years is getting significant improvements, including a big expansion.

The American Heart Association announced on Thursday that the community garden in the Hill Side neighborhood would be getting a makeover in partnership with the landowner, Shirley Webster.

The garden, located near 20th Street and Hillside Avenue, is set to get raised garden beds, a storage shed, and an expansion of about 10,000 square feet, in which fresh produce will be grown.

“Our mission is to help people live longer, healthier lives,” Dr. Jerry Smartt, a member of the AHA’s Indianapolis board of directors, said. “This garden not only enables people in the Hillside area to have access to fresh, healthy foods, but it has grown out of a program that helps people monitor and control their blood pressure – a leading risk factor of heart attack and stroke.

The renovation process has already started, the AHA said, as the land was recently tilled and staked. The permit process for drainage is in process, and over the next few months, construction on the electrical and plumbing will be installed in time for planting in the spring.

“I’m grateful to be able to host this community garden as a way to improve the lives of my neighbors,” Webster said. “I want to thank the American Heart Association for bringing all these companies together to create something that will have a lasting impact on so many people.”

Several companies have helped sponsor the garden's beautification, including Bowen Engineering, DEEM, Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, Messer Construction, Pepper Construction, and Synthesis.