Growing those grass roots

Florida Public Library hosts 'Grass Roots Gardening' program with Chris Beers beginning May 4


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  • This photos shows elements of the Community Garden Project Chris Beers created in Montclair, N.J.




  • Chris Beers, a graduate of S.S. Seward and a native of the Village of Florida, will discuss how to create a community garden program at the Florida Public Library beginning Sunday, May 4.



FLORIDA — The Florida Public Library will sponsor two programs on grass roots gardening for adults and teens on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. and again on Wednesday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m.

Florida native and S. S. Seward graduate Chris Beers will share his story about the evolution of a neighborhood garden he helped create in Montclair, N.J.

His experience was a lesson in grassroots agency and community building. He hopes to inspire the same right here in Florida.

'A good civic project'
Beers is an artist and community co-designer. Drawing on experience in participatory design, ecosystems research, urban gardening, local food systems, creative activism, and community building, he is excited about helping folks create refreshingly new, yet historically relevant local food systems and culture.

“When change happens in a town, many stories come together," Beers said in the library's press release announcing the program. "A good civic project happens when vigilant people respond creatively to these stories. I pay close attention to the stories of history unfolding in the world around me.

"Simultaneously, I search for ways to respond and contribute to them," he added. "I believe this practice is important to engage in because it can help us understand our world and learn to play a meaningful, life-enriching role in it.”

What's changed?

On May 4, Beers will relate his story and share photos about the community garden he helped to create and encourage local residents to share their own stories about experiences and changes they have seen in Florida.

To enrich the program, copies of the novella, "Seedfolks" by Paul Fleischman, about a community coming together to create an urban garden in Cleveland, are available for checkout now at the library. The book was illustrated by local author and illustrator Judy Pedersen.

What can we do here?

The second session of this two-part series on May 14 is entitled "What Can We Do In Florida?" and will focus on potential opportunities for food-related community projects in the village.

Interested residents and community groups are invited to take part and help develop a plan with Beers.

Essential information

Visit the library’s website at www.floridapubliclibrary.org and register for this and many other programs on the event calendar. Stop in or call the library at 651-7659 for more information.


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