Community garden interest is growing

CHAMPLAIN - If they plant it, will they come? Rachael Soluri hopes so.

Soluri, a village resident and sophomore at Northeastern Clinton Central School, approached the village board of trustees at a recent meeting inquiring whether there would be interest in establishing a community garden in the village limits.

The idea is one Mayor Gregory Martin really likes.

"I think it's a wonderful idea, simply because it'll bring more attention to the downtown, which really needs it," Martin said. "Rachael is a go-getter."

What was more impressive, the mayor continued, was the source of the idea.

"I think it's important because it was brought to us by a high school student," said Martin. "She looked at the village and thought of something new we could bring to downtown."

Soluri, who brought the idea before the board with the encouragement of high school teacher Janet McFetridge, said she got the idea from television commercials which challenged people to find ways to better their communities.

"I thought about Champlain and how we don't have a lot here, so I figured a community garden would be good for the earth and for getting the people out and active," said Soluri.

The process to get the garden off the ground - or, more to the point, in it - has been relatively easy, said Soluri. The village board has already identified the location, at the end of Church Street along the bank of the Great Chazy River. The next step was to get the necessary materials to develop the garden, which Martin said didn't take long at all.

"We had fertilizer donated by Larry Sorrell and had some help from Cha-rp Rental," said Martin. "We're having topsoil brought in and getting volunteers to help with tilling ... So far, it's been a community effort."

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