REALTORS® at the Plymouth and South Shore Association of REALTORS (PASS) wanted to give Earth Day 2017 the attention it deserved. So this past April 16, more than twenty REALTORS® were elbow deep in dirt at the Davis-Douglas Farm. The farm is part of the Wildlands Trust, a rural property in Plymouth that has been conserved and transformed into a space that area homeowners and families can enjoy.
The PASS team used a “Placemaking Grant” from the National Association of REALTORS® to build an organic, community garden on site. The grant was created to help transform underused public spaces, turning them into dynamic community destinations – and was a perfect fit for the Davis-Douglas project.
The funding went directly towards the construction of multiple raised garden beds and a dedicated “demonstration bed” that will be utilized in educational programming. REALTORS® built and prepped the beds over the course of two days, working alongside Wildland Trust volunteers. Their hard work means that a community gardening space is now available for use by South Shore residents. The trust also encourages their public gardeners to donate excess produce to area food pantries.
Jean Sawtelle, Communications Director at PASS, shared that the idea of applying for the grant was proposed by REALTOR® Bill Keohan, who was already involved with the Wildlands Trust. Sawtelle and the PASS Government Affairs Committee knew that the community garden project would be a perfect fit for the REALTOR® Party’s and unanimously moved forward with the grant application.
“It’s a wonderful, inclusive garden,” adds PASS CEO Rachel Tristano. “It will bring together members from all segments of the community, from the elderly living in facilities without gardening spaces, to professionals living in the newer high-end career-oriented complexes without hands-on gardens, and people of all different backgrounds and abilities. One of the best features is that some of the beds are even accessible to those in wheelchairs.”
The garden is part of a larger site that includes benches, picnic tables, a tree swing and walking trails. A large community hall is currently under construction as well. “The garden will be a place that produces more than just food,” says Tristano, “it will provide education and produce friendships and a sense of community.”