During February of 2013, a master gardener (Judy) and an ecologist-gardener (Bill), and a few others from the Baha’i community, were helping provide wintertime Sunday meals at JCCM for homeless neighbors. The ecologist-gardener brought some seedlings to transplant into flats, hoping to enlist a few clients as helpers.
This activity inspired the vision of establishing a community garden to provide healthful produce for food insecure neighbors through JCCM’s food pantry. JCCM, Judy and the Dave Hamill, the Mayor of Ranson moved the idea forward.
Ranson licensed a city right-of-way next to the Baha’i Center to JCCM for the garden. With the help of a small grant from the Pollination Project, the two gardener entrepreneurs began building the garden. Help has come from many places including JCCM, friends and supporters including local businesses, the WVU extension service and master gardeners, the adjacent property owner (also a gardener), and various service organizations.
Seeing the Ranson project as a good example of a “green” sustainable development partnership, the Baha’i national media center prepared a video on the project.
Ranson Old Town Community Gardens (ROTCG) continues to expand. We’ve added more gardens and facilities, are doing educational presentations in schools, and is taking on bigger projects like the Eagle Scout project and high tunnels. In 2014 the Gardens became an independent non-profit WV Voluntary Association a federally tax exempt organization