At the 4th-annual Dance for Plants fundraiser on Friday, March 22, volunteer members of Gulfport’s Community Garden group celebrated a year of growth at the Casino Ballroom from 6:45 p.m. to 11 p.m., said coordinator George Zarillo.
“We want to keep the sense of community as more people involved,” he said.
The city-owned garden is located at 5125 Preston Avenue S. in Gulfport. Everyone gardens together as there are no individual plots and nothing is rented.
“The number of people who now participate on a fairly regular basis would probably be in the 20s,” said Zarillo. This is up from about 10 to 12 people who regularly volunteered in 2018.
Everyone is welcome and no experience is necessary, he said. Training topics include amending the soil and composting.
Each year, volunteers are able to grow more produce to use and to make weekly donations to the Gulfport Senior Center’s food pantry, he said.
“And, each year, the garden gets more together,” said Zarillo. “It’s good. It’s positive. It’s social. It’s community. It’s learning. Everything that we want to do we’re accomplishing and doing well.”
The dance is the main fundraiser for the garden volunteers. Attendees enjoyed a raffle area and a table where two gardening experts were available to answer a variety of questions.
The garden is open to everyone who wishes to participate and it’s free. To get involved, show up on Saturdays at 9 a.m. or Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m., he said.