New community garden coming to Austin

August 28, 2014
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Austin will soon have another community garden thanks to teens working with the Youth Outreach Services program.

On Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m., the group will spotlight the space, which is next to its Austin office at 5910 W. Division St.

About 15 youth from Austin worked with YOS this summer gaining experience with gardening, entrepreneurship and developing a plan. This fall the teens will get ready for spring planting.

“We’re transforming something that was a weedy, overgrown lot with people throwing a bunch of trash and garbage in there and a fence that was half torn down,” Executive Director Rick Velasquez said.

Once the garden is finished, Velasquez said he would love it turn into a place where Austin residents can go to get their fresh fruits and vegetables at a cheaper cost than the average grocery store.

Sorcha Ray, a prevention specialist for YOS, said the youth involved this summer helped with the overall vision of what the garden would turn into.

Austin resident Vincent Price, 21, who’s been involved with YOS the last two years, said the program has helped young people on the West Side improve themselves and work toward a better future.

“It’s helped us young people to stay off the streets and experience new things,” he said.

Price said he now loves gardening and has learned how it can help save him money; he doesn’t have to go to the grocery store as often because he can eat his own organic food.

He was involved in the planning process and will be giving a presentation Saturday about what young people in Austin would like to see happen. Personally, Price said he would like to see fruits like pears, peaches and grapes grown in the garden.

“The garden will be beneficial to Austin because it will introduce new fruits and vegetables to the community.”

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