We have incredible news! The Mt. Pleasant Community Garden is up and running! The garden was organized by community activist Rachell Williams, who attended PTA meetings at Bancroft Elementary and lobbied the school for permission to build the garden on school grounds. Permission she received, and today six plots line Mt. Pleasant Street north of Newton.

Together with Lee Cain, an Environmental Educator for the Anacostia Watershed Society, Rachell hoed, dug up rocks, and built the terraced gardens. The wood that encases each plot was generously donated by Community Forklift, an organization that recycles salvaged building materials. The wood is all organic, beneficial for gardens to keep contaminants away from the growing plants. The entire garden, in fact, is organic and eco-friendly, Rachell even hopes to install rain barrels on the side of the school to catch runoff to be used to water the plants.

Rachell opened the garden first to Bancroft parents and neighbors in the immediate area and many were interested, so all of the six existing plots are claimed. There is, however, plenty of room for garden expansion. Rachell plans to build several more plot as well as a communal herb garden at the top of the hill. Each plot is $25, which covers only the cost of the materials (like nails and mulch) used to build the garden. And although Rachell is willing to help, interested individuals must be willing to get their hands dirty in the plot construction process.

If you’re interested in having your own plot in the Mt. Pleasant Community Garden, or you just want to volunteer to help, email Rachell at RachellWill@gmail.com. (Also email her to tell her how much you want to attend a garden grand opening party. I’m going to make deviled eggs.)