Helping Center garden pulling up roots for new location

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

The Helping Center garden is moving

Lida Woodul (second from left), president of the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, signs a lease for what will soon become the new home of The Helping Center of Marble Falls Area’s community garden, which is moving to Trinity Episcopal Church. Celebrating the moment with her were association member Ricky Lane (left), garden leader David Burke, the Rev. David Sugeno of Trinity Episcopal Church, and garden administrator Suzy Rowley. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Helping Center of Marble Falls Area garden soon will be rooted in a new home with more level land and space and a permanent storage building. Produce from the garden, which is currently located at 1315 Broadway in Marble Falls, goes to families seeking assistance from the food pantry.

The garden is moving to Trinity Episcopal Church, 909 Avenue D in Marble Falls. Lida Woodul, president of the Highland Lakes Master Gardener Association, which oversees the garden, signed a contract with the Rev. David Sugeno, the church’s rector, on June 12 for the 100-square-foot space.

The partnership began with a conversation between David Waldo, a Trinity parishioner and association member, and Sugeno. Waldo told the rector the garden needed a new location because The Helping Center food pantry is moving in with the Marble Falls Community Resource Center at 1016 Broadway. The city owns its current property and might soon have other plans for it.

Trinity obtained approval from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, which owns the church grounds, to move the garden there.

Sugeno was instrumental in starting the Burnet County Hunger Alliance, a group of volunteers, churches, school leaders, and food pantries with the goal of ending hunger in the area. Moving the garden to Trinity fits perfectly into the church’s ministries.

“That was part of our decision-making process,” he said. “The parishioners have been big on food and saw it fits right in.”

Master Gardeners hope to plant a fall garden at the new location this year but might have to wait until next spring.

Plenty of preparation is needed to make the move, including installing a rainwater harvesting system. Giant water collection bins will have to be moved from the old location to the new one to be placed under the church’s gutters. A fence around the garden also will need to be built.   

Master Gardeners and the congregation are excited about the move.

“This is real suitable,” Sugeno said about the new location. “It’s open, it’s accessible. We thought it would be easy to do.”

Waldo agreed.

“We’re going to be better because we’ll start with a clean slate and plan out how to better use the area,” he said. “I see it as being more efficient.”

The association is considering holding a workday and inviting residents to participate, said Master Gardener and community garden leader Ricky Lane.

“I need adults who can operate shovels,” he said.

Contact garden administrator Suzy Rowley at suzyrowley@gmail.com for information on how to get involved.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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