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Bedford Community Garden Needs Local Support
Updated July 13, 2017 6:58 AM
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(BEDFORD) - Today is the first of 45 days of fundraising for the development of Bedford's Community Garden.

The fundraising campaign is sponsored by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and provided through the crowdfunding platform developed by Patronicity. The goal is to raise $25,000 and if the goal is reached, the Bedford Community Garden will receive a match grant from IHCDA's CreatINg Places program.

"We will keep anything that we raised but they will not match anything unless we meet the 25k threshold," said Barry Jeskewich, Parks Director for the City of Bedford.

The plan is to develop this public space even farther in order to help residents get involved, meet their neighbors, spend time outside, get some exercise and enjoy fresh food. Currently, a quarter mile walking path is being constructed and there are plans for a playground, shelter house, benches, picnic tables, public restrooms and ornamental landscaping.

"By incorporating park elements with fruit and vegetable plots, the new Bedford Community Garden has the potential to help improve physical and mental health in our community," said Jeskewich. "But to make this project a reality, we need support from local residents."

There are many ways to help the cause like making a donation, helping spread the word about fundraising efforts, signing up for your own garden plot and volunteering to help with construction and programming.

The Parks Director said that there are around 38 of the 62 garden plots already reserved.

"Its growing in popularity. Some people want to have two plots and the raised beds, we have three of the eight raised beds are occupied right now."

The Bedford Parks Department is actively fundraising. "We have reached out to individual businesses and have verbal commitments from a few of them. We've also written a few grants and we will be able to put that money towards it as well. We'll be reaching out to other individuals via marketing campaigns like at the Car Show this Weekend, at the fair, and other events we'll have donations buckets and so forth," said Jeskewich.

For more information and to donate, click here. You can also contact the Bedford Parks Department at (812) 275-5692 for additional information and to donate.

Since the CreatINg Places program began last fall, 14 projects have been launched and raised in excess of $400,000 in public funds. 11 of these campaigns have met their their fundraising goal and therefore were awarded matching funds from IHCDA. The other three projects remain open.

The CreatINg Places program is available to projects located in Indiana communities or neighborhoods which contain a traditional downtown or traditional neighborhood commercial node. Non-profit entities (with 501c3 or 501c4 status) and Local Units of Government are eligible to apply.

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