Opening of a community garden as a habitat for Columbia’s pollinators

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A pollinator garden near downtown Columbia celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting at 2513 Gervais Street on Saturday.

“Columbia Green usually gives money to other groups to do these kinds of projects. And we decided we wanted to try making one ourselves. And this was the result,” said Trace Ballou, president of the Columbia Green 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Ballou tells WIS that the pollinator garden was conceptualized two years ago and cost $11,000 to install in the Marvin Heller Community Garden. The grounds include a circular walkway surrounded by five informative plaques and six above-ground flowerbeds.

The project was made possible through a series of grants and a working partnership with the Lyon Street District Association (LSNA).

“It will be a place for pollinators to grow and it will help our community garden…thrive even more. It’s important projects like these that make our communities places we all want to live and be,” LSNA President Chase Toler said during Saturday’s celebration.

During the construction phase in 2021, Lyon Street neighbor Alvin “Rambo” Lemon planted a series of fruits and vegetables in the wheelchair-accessible garden bed.

“It’s rich soil here and it grows very well. I like to see things grow. Even if I don’t eat it, I love watching it grow,” said Lemon, a Korean War veteran who rode his mobility scooter at the celebration.

The LSNA also thanks the Central Carolina Realtors Association, the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation, and the Central Carolina Community Foundation for funding and other assistance.

The pollinator garden is open to the public and is not limited to the rue Lyon district.

“This garden is a true example of the kinds of collaborations Columbia Green wants to do more of. All groups are strengthened by working together to get things done for the good of the whole community,” Ballou said.

Columbia Green has operated throughout the capital since 1983. Its mission is to enhance and protect South Carolina’s natural beauty while educating the public about the environment. The non-profit organization hosts the annual Garden Festival and spearheads the Columbia Green Square Mile Project.

Columbia Green relies on community members to support its environmental operations. If you wish to join their efforts, Ballou invites you to Click here.

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