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Eat Smart Black Mountain is making significant contributions to the town, its administrators told town aldermen last week.

Addressing the board, town health service programs administrator Jill Edwards and Diana McCall, garden supervisor, spoke about the advantages of Eat Smart Black Mountain and othercommunity development that focus on readily available resources.

The overall goal of Eat Smart Black Mountain is to establish gardening space accessible by every resident of Black Mountain, whether by foot or wheelchair.

Public gardens in town are the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden, the Lake Tomahawk Community Garden and the Carver Community Garden.

A few plots are available at the Carver Community Garden (call 669-2052).

Edwards and McCall highlighted several youth gardening programs popular with elementary- and middle school-age students in the community.

In October last year, the two spoke at the National Recreation & Parks Association Congress, specifically about community gardening in town.

“We’ve actually had people from around the country come out and see what we’re doing,” Edwards said. “Here in Black Mountain we really strive not to say ‘what are we lacking?’ Instead we strive to say ‘what is it that we have, and what can we do with those things?’”

McCall has been involved with the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden since 2005.

“It provides growing space for over 70 families in our community,” she said. “And it provides meaningful service opportunities. Last year we saw over 1,700 hours of service donated. That’s only what I could get people to log in to the log book, so it’s probably a lot more.”

McCall recently began working with French intensive gardening techniques, which allow for more growth in smaller spaces at the garden.

“Last week we pulled 300 pounds of just greens off of about 2,000 square feet,” she said.

Mayor Michael Sobol expressed support for the Eat Smart Black Mountain program and called the community garden a “jewel in the crown of Black Mountain.”

The Dr. John Wilson Community Garden is calling for volunteers to help weed from 9 a.m.-noon June 20 (tea and pastries at 8:30 a.m.). Bring a dish, cutlery and plates for the potluck lunch at noon.

In an unrelated matter, local resident and planning board member Dawn Trutwin asked aldermen to order an audit of financial documentation associated with town square

Trutwin asked the board to remove from its agenda a motion to approve construction of a sidewalk that would connect the lower parking lot on the corner of West Street and East State Street to the restroom facilities at town square.

She also wanted to know the names ofthe town square committee who recommended the work.

Town manager Matt Settlemyer explained the role of the committee and named the members before the mayor intervened.

“We’re not in a question and answer (period) here,” Sobol said. “Please make your comments, and if this board wishes to go ahead and respond later on, they will.”

Alderman Carlos Showers addressed general concerns regarding the town square before the meeting ended.

“I voted for that town square because I saw the potential in it,” he said. “I know that everybody did not agree with the town square.

“We need to move on,” Showers continued. “It’s time for us to be appreciative of what we have. I am satisfied with where we are as far as monetary values go with the square.”

Get dirty, make friends

The Dr. John Wilson Community Garden is calling for volunteers to help weed from 9 a.m.-noon June 20 (tea and pastries at 8:30 a.m.). Bring a dish, cutlery and plates for the potluck lunch at noon.

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