Sunday, April 26, 2015

Earth Day 2015 Celebrated in Apalachicola

Staff and students from Project Impact with artwork on display

About 20 local residents gathered April 22, at City Square Community Garden to celebrate Earth Day along with Arbor Day and to mark the 7th anniversary of the community garden.

Staff and students from the City of Apalachicola Project Impact Afterschool and Summer Enrichment Program where also on hand and displayed some of their artwork during the celebration.

Both Apalachicola Mayor Van Johnson and City Commissioner Frank Cook took part in the celebration, below are the written remarks made by Mayor Johnson.

Staff and students from Project Impact pictured with Mayor Van Johnson

“Once again I’m honored and pleased to celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day with each of you, as we also use the occasion to mark the establishment of City Square Community Garden within the Historic City of Apalachicola.

As we celebrate the Earth Day component of today’s event, let us be mindful that the Creator, in His infinite wisdom linked the continued existence of mankind to nature. We are all inescapably woven into the fabric of our environment. Whatever happens to it; happens to us.  Therefore, with each day let us respect the environment, protect it, and treat it like our very lives depend upon it, which it does.

As to Arbor Day, I’m pleased to report that during 2014, the City of Apalachicola planted 125 new trees throughout the community. During that same time only 37 trees had to be removed that were either dead or diseased.

Mayor Van Johnson delivering remarks at Earth Day Celebration

As for City Square Community Garden, the idea for the project was born in 2008 during a discussion of community minded folks that were interested in beautifying the city and providing much-needed fresh vegetables to the local food pantry.

The group identified this location, received approval from the city commission and stated the planning process that resulted in what you see here today. 

In 2010 they hosted a “Blessing of the Garden”, where more than 100 people showed up and joined the local clergy in praying, prayers of blessing for the success of this project.

Since that inaugural event, the concept of City Square Community Garden has spread throughout the Florida Panhandle like an epidemic, with other cities and towns emulating this project within their own communities and within their own backyards.

During the last 7-years, City Square Community Garden has become one of the most self-sustainable, recognizable, grassroots projects that occurred during my administration.

A success that can be directly attributed to the people involved like you and to the foundation upon which the garden was established.

A sturdy foundation that has brought the residents of this community together across racial lines and social barriers to do something that everyone can enjoy doing together in a peaceful setting blessed by man and ordained by the Creator from the beginning of the world.

The Book of Genesis describes a time where God took daily walks during the breeze of the day surrounded by nature in a Garden to converse with man.

That illustration confirms for me that we are indeed one with nature, one family, one community, and one nation sewn together in the fabric of humanity by the hands of God.

With that I wish each of you a very Happy Earth Day and May God continue to bless this project, the people of Apalachicola and my administration”.