Community gardens project expanding in Ottumwa

All but one plot has been planted at the United Way's community garden.

A community-wide project to help relieve hunger in Wapello County is going strong.

There's only one plot left at the community garden in the Ottumwa Industrial Park and all the others have been planted and tended to and are well on their way to growing food to help the food insecure in Wapello County and the surrounding area.

Non-profits, businesses, the city of Ottumwa and citizens just wanting to help have already been involved in the project.

"We've been really surprised and really enjoyed the feedback that we get from everybody," said Marie Zoromski, Community Impact Associate at the United Way of Wapello County. "They come out on their leisure, this is unlocked, so you're welcome to come out and see the gardens at any time, some people like to work in the morning, some in the evening and they are just really happy to be contributing to a project that's going to go directly to people here in Ottumwa."

Zoromski said the city of Ottumwa is looking into other areas around town to start other garden projects and the next steps are to generate plans on how to develop each property and get a handle on interest in the community.

The food grown in the Industrial Park garden will go to the Lord's Cupboard, as well as non-profits who have feeding programs to help children and the elderly.

There will be weeding and watering days throughout the summer when help is most needed and for more information on how to volunteer, contact the United Way at 682-1264.