Turning blight into green space in Shelbyville

Community garden in Shelbyville.
Posted at 3:46 PM, Oct 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-01 15:46:18-04

SHELYBVILLE -- A property that is filled with green peppers, tomatoes and sunflowers is where an abandoned home sat empty for many years in Shelbyville.

The Let's Grow Together Shelbyville Community Garden now fills that space. The garden was created on Elm Street after the City of Shelbyville demolished the abandoned home.

"It was bad," Edie Scott said. "It was in bad shape."

Scott has lived in apartments across the street since 2003. For as long as she can remember the abandoned home was there.

"Kids would come do their thing, it was bad," Scott said.

After getting awarded money to tear down blighted homes through the Blight Elimination Program, the home is one of seven that has been torn down by the City of Shelbyville.

Now, a sign of progress is visible as the community garden continues to grow. Not only does the area look better than before, but the garden is providing a food source for the community.

"There are not a lot options for people in Shelby County that need food," Alyse Deutsch said. 

Deutsch is part of Leadership Shelby County. Her team partnered with several groups including Habitat for Humanity to create the garden.

"It makes me feel good to help people in our community," Deutsch said.

Anyone is allowed to take produce from the garden. There are no requirements and everything is free.

"Moving forward we hope to open the lot up again next year with different crops,” Deutsch said.

Leadership Shelby County hopes to expand on other available properties through the Blight Elimination Program and create more green space in the community.