Making progress in the Ivy Street Community Garden Greenhouse Project
By Kimberly Langin, Community Engagement VISTA Member
This past week has been very eventful for the Ivy Street Community Garden Greenhouse Project! The Groundbreaking Ceremony took place on Wednesday, October 16th and was well attended by city officials, residents, community partners, and the Ivy Street Community Garden gardeners. Starting off the day’s event was Erik Johnson of the Livable City Initiative (LCI). Erik then introduced Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., who poignantly noted that “what’s growing here is not only vegetables; it’s community.”
The mayor was followed by Delphine Clyburn, Alderwoman for Ward 20, Jim Paley, Executive Director of NHS, Stephen Cremin-Endes, Community Building Specialist at NHS, Velma George, LCI Neighborhood Specialist for Dixwell, Newhallville, & East Rock and Greenhouse Committee Chair, Mrs. Ida Felder, community gardener and next door neighbor to the garden, and Yolanda Jones-Generette, Principal of Lincoln Bassett school, which is across from the Ivy Street Community Garden. Everyone expressed their excitement to see this innovative project underway. Attendance at the event was incredible – we packed an impressive amount of people around those garden plots!
Mrs. Jones-Generette concluded the ceremony by introducing the Lincoln Bassett School Choir, who shared their talents with us by singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “God Bless America,” with the crowd joining in.
The event was a great success and we have experienced quite a bit of new interest in the project!
The United Way of Greater New Haven was kind enough to pair Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven with the Walsh Construction Company—PCL Joint Venture II for their "Days of Caring" event.
The company has donated their time, skills, materials, and resources to the greenhouse project. Following the Groundbreaking Ceremony, Walsh Construction Company—PCL Joint Venture II formed and poured the footing of the greenhouse. Waiting a day for it to cure, the group removed the footing forms on Friday.
The volunteers spent the next day laying the 30x15 foot, 8 inch thick foundation for the installation of the greenhouse, formed the greenhouse walls, and poured the concrete for the walls.
This Monday, the 21st, the group removed the wall forms and did some final clean up before backfilling will occur next week by Lior Excavating, LLC, who also did the initial excavation of the site prior to the pouring of the foundation.
A great big thank you to Sean Bush, project manager for the Walsh Construction Company—PCL Joint Venture II, his crew, and Jan McCray-Price of the United Way of Greater New Haven for all of their energy, hard work, and dedication, without which this project would not have been possible!