Austell Dedicates Community Garden

Terrell family members from left are Shirley Dozier, Wade Terrell, Regina TIlley and Mike Terrell.

Terrell family members from left are Shirley Dozier, Wade Terrell, Regina TIlley and Mike Terrell.

Friends and family of the late I.T. and Lodemia Terrell gathered in April to transform a former home and family garden plot into the City of Austell’s first Community Garden. City Council used some $18,000 in donated funds to buy equipment, plants and maintenance for the garden at Windy Lane and Owens Drive. The land was purchased by the city with federal funds after it was inundated with some 15 feet of floodwater in the 2009 flooding. The first phase will include 24 garden plots that residents can rent and plant their crops.

Grants came from the Cobb County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Terrell family and funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency hazard mitigation grant program, which provided about $900,000 for 22 homes damaged in the September 2009 floods.

“As part of the hazard mitigation grant program, the property located at 2836 Windy Lane was purchased, the structure demolished and the property returned to deed-restricted greenspace,” Councilwoman Kirsten Anderson said.

The I.T. and Lodemia Terrell Community Garden and Educational Center will include walking trails and an outdoor classroom.

The property once belonged to long-time Austell residents Irvin Thomas “I.T.” and Lodemia Terrell, who died in November at age 87 and in March at age 85, respectively.

No structure can be built on the flood land, so the council decided that the community gaden was an appropriate use for the land.  The Terrells gardened the plot behind their home for years, according to the biographies on the program.

The Terrells “were residents of the city of Austell for approximately 59 years. Both individuals contributed to organizations within the city from serving on the Planning and Zoning Board, volunteering at Sweetwater Valley Camp or as members of the Lions Club,” she said.

From the May 2013 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.