City officials marked the Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance with speeches and a ceremony that included the Mesa Fire Department Honor Guard with two bagpipe players. It was held in what was once a vacant lot and is being turned into a community garden.
Prior to and after the ceremonies, volunteers worked at the Mesa Urban Garden at 212 E. First Ave., moving garden boxes, removing rocks, tilling the ground with shovels and hand tools and adding topsoil. (See and exclusive video here.)
"We want to participate in the community garden," Lisa McCarvillo said as she and her son, Conor, looked for rocks and threw them out of a boxed area. "Not really interested in it for the vegetables; I home-school, so it's for a teaching moment," she said. Mrs. McCarvillo has lived in Mesa since 1997.
Susie Vaught, a 29-year-resident of Mesa, hopes to have a garden area. Her volunteer work Sept. 11 included incorporating a soil additive with a shovel.
"It's a day of service, to give to Mesa," she said when asked why she was helping. "And I hope to have a garden lot here with vegetables; I have two grandsons who eat me out of house and home."
Jim Harper, who has lived in Mesa for 17 years, also volunteered with shovel in hand.
"Seemed like a good community project to help with," he said.
The garden is expected to have approximately 68 4-by-6-feet and 38 4-by-12-feet garden boxes, according to a press release from the city of Mesa. The walls surrounding the garden have been painted with murals commissioned by MUG with a donation from the Mesa Arts Center. Supplies and other materials have been generously donated by local businesses and residents.
Learn more about the garden at www.mesaurbangarden.com.
Another article on the urban garden can be found here.