On May 24, 2011, Dominion partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Summit County to build 25 raised "Community Gardens" beds in Akron, Ohio.
A dozen Dominion East Ohio volunteers helped build the garden beds in a shopping center parking lot, across from the former Rolling Acres Mall, all without plowing up a square foot of blacktop. The Dominion team used cinder blocks, cardboard, shredded newspaper and a compost and soil mixture, to construct the above-ground gardens in the front parking lot of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, 2301 Romig Road.
The location is convenient to partnering businesses that are sponsoring the gardens and plan to maintain their gardens. An independent restaurant owner even plans to serve produce from the garden to customers.
"Had I known the amount of work involved, I would have recruited more volunteers" notes Melinda Whitehead, Dominion's project coordinator. The Dominion volunteers worked into the afternoon, before handing off the job to a team of volunteers from Key Bank.
The Dominion team first moved and stacked cinder blocks to form the retaining walls for the gardens, which were 4 feet wide by 8 feet long. After they assembled the garden shells, volunteers began filling them with layers of materials, using the "lasagna method," Whitehead says.
The Dominion team used tools from Keep Akron Beautiful's Community Pride trailer, of which Dominion is a corporate sponsor. The Community Pride Trailer is available through Keep Akron Beautiful for loan to Akron residents and community volunteer groups free of charge. The trailer is stocked with landscaping tools and cleanup supplies.
Kneeling in the front from left to right: Steve Conti, Joe Hinton and Judy Box. Standing in the back, left to right: Harvey Yergin, Paul Emery, Mark Schaeffer, Loreal Capers, Melinda Whitehead, Tina Navarro, Terry Glidden, Jennifer Davis and Nancy Kovach. In the background is the Community Pride Trailer.
The 4x8-foot cinder block beds were constructed as follows (using the "Lasagna" method):
Additional information is available from Rochelle Fisher, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity in Akron, 330-745-7734.