Hello, AmeriCorps VISTA in Fields reporting here in Williamson, WV. The Ramella Park Community Garden of Eatin’ and Williamson Health & Wellness Center continue their efforts in educating the local community about agriculture and gardening, as well as encouraging volunteerism in the process. We have been working in conjunction with Amizade- Global Learning Service, a non-profit organization based out of Pittsburgh, PA that is dedicated to cross-cultural education through direct community volunteer service.

Last year, Amizade and Williamson Health & Wellness Center began a partnership with the Fulbright program. This partnership involved the facilitation of 12 Fulbright Scholars (6 International, 6 US Students), coming to Williamson for a week of community service while simultaneously learning about Appalachia and the issues our region faces in hopes of identifying innovative and sustainable solutions for recovery.

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This year we have continued this partnership and have hosted our second group of Fulbright Scholars visiting Williamson, and the Ramella Park Community Garden of Eatin’. The group is extremely diverse, coming from all over the world, and it is a great opportunity for community members to meet and talk with people of different backgrounds. For this reason, we purposely scheduled our second workshop during their visit. This workshop focused not only on the planting process, but also to what types of produce grow best during the cold winter months.

At the first planning workshop last month, Master Gardener Lonnie helped participants fill out their garden planning sheet, which was just a hand out with the design of their garden. They filled in what they plan to grow this year. Yesterday, at the first of two garden planting workshop, Lonnie helped show

There has also been a number of other accomplishments made at the gardens over the last couple of weeks, including putting plastic on the final high tunnels, weeding and turning all of the beds and more.

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