With Helping Hands Alamogordo Maryland Avenue Community Garden at the Dudley Community Center Ribbon Cutting
Saturday January 27th, 2024 With Many Hands Alamogordo hosted a community coming together for a ribbon cutting of Alamogordo's first community garden. This first for the city of Alamogordo is located on Maryland Avenue, on city property, across from the Dudley Community Center. The location across from the Dudley Community Center is a vital part of the revitalization of this historic neighborhood that has had years of neglect.
The project will complement the Dudley School revitalization into a community center and park. With a community garden across the street it further enhances the turn around efforts of this historic neighborhood.
With Many Hands Alamogordo is a community service organization conceptualized locally by Courtney McCary-Squyres and a group of committed volunteers.
In June of 2023, after solidifying a leadership team, and gathering petition signatures of community support, With Many Hands hosted a campaign kick off to announce to the public the Public Land for Food campaign. The vision of the initiative was to partner with the City of Alamogordo to utilize formerly blighted properties, that have been transferred to the city, as community garden and food forest spaces. These spaces would be available to the public, just as any public park in Alamogordo and residents would be able to harvest fresh locally grown produce free of charge.
With the announcement of the Dudley School renovation and the many revitalization efforts in Alamogordo’s District 5 most especially the Chihuahuita neighborhood ; With Many Hands pursued working in conjunction with the renovations and sought the support of Joe Lewndowski project manager of the Dudley project on behalf of the Tularosa Basin Historic Society and the Commissioner of District 5, Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Sharon McDonald.
Being that there was a formerly abated, city owned property directly across the street from the Dudley school at 601 Maryland Ave., both Mr. Lewendowski and Commissioner McDonald provided their feedback and support of the idea and partnership and with approval of the city the program was launched.
By situating this first community garden by the Dudley school, and partnering with the City of Alamogordo’s Parks and Recreation Department to utilize the Maryland Ave. property as a public garden, With Many Hands is committing to maintain the Maryland Avenue Garden as well as offer gardening, cooking and preservation classes to the community in the gardens and utilizing the new Dudley Center as a community center and a place of pride.
The official ribbon cutting took place on Saturday with the support of Mayor Susan Payne, Mayor Pro Tem Sharon McDonald, representatives and leadership of the Otero County Republican Party, members of Alamogordo MainStreet, members of the Dudley School Rehabilitation Program, the Tularosa Basin Historic Society, members of multitudes of volunteer organizations, members of the media, students, and folks of all ages. This community garden project is one bringing together one of the most diverse groups of volunteers of any project or volunteer opportunity within Alamogordo.
The event hosted multiple speakers, the ribbon cutting, a thanks to the volunteers and donors and then work began in helping to bring the garden to life.
Congratulations to the community for coming together for this wonderful project.
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