During the installation of the new garden, Hoover Road leader Sherry Lawrence emotionally shared her thoughts and hopes for the garden: When I see [the garden] I cry because I never thought this could happen.”
A year ago, Durham CAN organized with the Hoover Road community to build the power necessary to create change in their community. Years of neglect and apathy from the Durham Housing Authority imposed a rusty and dangerous playground on the Hoover Road community. Through organizing, Durham CAN and Hoover Road removed the decaying playground and replaced it with a source of life. On May 8th, Durham CAN leaders saw the completion of the community Garden at Hoover Road.
Among the attendees were several members of Durham CAN, Neighborhood Improvement Services, The Hoover Road Community, Sustainable Duke, Members of Ag extension with NCCU, The Durham Rotary Club, Durham Housing Authority Board Member Angela Holmes, City Commissioner Brenda Howerton and more.
Durham CAN appreciates the Durham Rotary Club for funding the garden and we appreciate Durham Neighborhood Improvement Services for the tents and snacks for the launch event. We are very grateful for Becky Hoeffler at Sustainable Duke and Cheralyn Berry for their continued partnership with the Garden. Most importantly, we thank the Hoover Road community for helping co-create this garden with us.
We encourage those interested in the garden to reach out to Mrs. Guen Shaw-Peters about the Tuesdays in the Garden Event.
Durham CAN leader Heather Ladd shared:
“Durham CAN is excited to support Mrs. Sherry Lawrence and other members of the Hoover Road community in starting a community garden. We appreciate the collaboration of the DHA and our community partners, Duke Sustainability, NCCU ag extension, Rotary club, and the Hoover Road community. While we appreciate the collaboration of the DHA there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed like chronic Maintenance issues and communication between DHA staff and residents.”
Mrs. Sherry spoke about her motivations for the garden: “I really wanted to start this for the babies—to give the kids something to look forward to. To give them some type of responsibility and to show them no matter what the obstacle is whatever they want to do and set their mind to they can do it.” Then Mrs. Sherry explained how her initial desire for the garden stems out of her childhood on a farm and the therapeutic effects growing her own food had on her. As she watched the children smiling and playing the garden, she talked about her hopes that the garden would bring the community together and keep the children from getting into trouble. Mrs. Sherry finished with tears in her eyes saying:
“I am so grateful to have Durham CAN and I thank them for the bottom of my heart. If it wasn’t for them, nothing would be possible. If it wasn’t for Durham CAN I wouldn’t have my roof, and definitely not the garden.”