I strongly support the community garden that would be located on the grounds of the former Hamlin School. When we moved to South Portland last year, my first project was to make room for a front-yard vegetable garden. Our neighbors were first curious, then intrigued, and ultimately excited by the bounty that unfolded as the season progressed (especially when they became the happy recipients of my excess). Not everyone is a homeowner or has a yard that is suitable for a vegetable garden, so community gardens enable more people to grow some of their food. They are good for the community, good for the local environment, and good for the planet. They are wonderful for children; both of our kids grew up with organic vegetable gardens being a regular element in their lives, and now as adults with their own families, they continue to grow vegetables. Community gardens are beautiful to look at, especially when flowers add still more color to the many shades of green. Like farmers markets, they are generators of good feeling. Yes, they add a new buzz of activity to wherever they are located, but this is a buzz to enjoy and appreciate; it will enhance the neighborhood rather than detract from it. I hope everyone will support this project.

Stephen Marks
South Portland

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