MLK Day is a ‘day on’ at the Bush Hills Community Garden and Urban Farm

MLK Day acts of service

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Many enjoyed having the day off in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

But for some, it was a day of service.

About 40 volunteers showed up at the Bush Hills Community Garden this afternoon ready to plant, bag up leaves, and clean up fence rows, uniting to serve the needs of the community on this day of service.

Armed with gloves, masks, and garden tools, volunteers from various backgrounds gathered at the Bush Hills Community Garden and Urban Farm.

Their goal? To weed out food insecurity.

“It’s not just important on today; it’s important every day that we have diversity based on age, race, genders, all kinds of preferences, religion and at Bush Hills Community Garden everyone is welcome,” said Garden Manager, April Williams.

She said many neighborhoods in Birmingham are located in food deserts, and Bush Hills is one of them.

That’s why back in 2018, organizers turned the old Woodrow Wilson School site, into a vibrant community hub where people could get something fresh and healthy to eat.

“The beautiful part is that we’re able to overcome the deficiency of not having fresh fruits and vegetables in our neighborhood because we produce them right here in the center of our neighborhood,” Williams explained.

This growing season alone, the garden has distributed more than 30,000 pounds of fresh produce.

But the garden is not only providing nourishment for the body, organizers said it’s also feeding the soul during this pandemic.

“Volunteers that were here on Friday and Saturday talked about how happy they feel here in the garden and how much of a peaceful place this is, and in some forms a spiritual. The connection of agriculture and spirituality is a nice merge,” Williams said.

Williams said the garden has been operating throughout the pandemic and says they have not had a single case of COVID reported.

She attributes that to working outdoors, and requiring volunteers to wear masks, gloves and social distance.

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