Blank Space Project takes over Kimberly Park garden

Blank Space Project takes over Kimberly Park garden
August 27
00:00 2015

Above: Students from Wake Forest University came out on Tuesday, Aug. 18 to help bring the Kimberly Park Community Garden back to life. The garden is located at 1701 Cherry St.

Students and volunteers help bring community garden back to life

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

Earlier this year, after listening to community members in the Kimberly Park area, Blank Space Project (BSP) began a initiative to help maintain the community garden that was planted in the Boston Thurmond area.

The Blank Space Project (BSP) started as a local think tank that supports grassroots ideas. The purpose of the project is to revitalize communities by including community members in the problem-solving process while also fostering creativity.

BSP works with communities to develop sustainable design projects that change the way neighborhoods look and feel.

Jessica Wilson, co-founder of the Blank Space Project, said they got started on the garden after members of the community voiced their opinions on the upkeep of the garden.

Before BSP took over the garden in May, the garden had not been tended to for close to three years

“After seeing the vacant garden and hearing some of the complaints from some of the residents, we thought we could bring some life back to this corner.” Wilson said.

“Someone needed to jump in and initiate the beginning stages of the garden,” said Wilson. “We saw the possibilities and started pulling together our resources.”

Although the garden was started as a project for the students at Kimberly Park Elementary School, a sustainability project was never set into place, which is when BSP stepped in. After a number of conversations with Amber Baker, principal at Kimberly Park, Wilson and BSP got to work bringing the garden back to life.

Earlier last week (Aug. 18), a number of incoming freshman from Wake Forest helped to tend the garden. The students seemed eager to learn and get to work on improving the community.

Carl McPhail, a freshman from Charlotte, said he had done similar work in his hometown but wanted to make an impact in Winston-Salem while he worked toward a degree in business.

“I heard about the garden through a program called SPARK on campus,” said McPhail. “As a freshman, I really wanted to get out and learn more about Winston-Salem and work in the community.”

Although many students had never even stepped foot in a garden before, according to Wilson they were all quick learners and really made an impact in the garden.

“The thing about it is they all were willing to learn,” said Wilson. “None of them were afraid to get dirty, and they came right in and got to work.”

Not all of the volunteers were new to gardening, James Anderson said he has been gardening for over 50 years and said he was proud to see the young people getting out and working.

“It gives me a good feeling to see these young people coming together like this,” said Anderson. “When I was growing up, things like this were unheard of. I’m just glad I could be a part of something that helps this community.”

Anderson, a native of Mississippi, said he volunteered with the garden because his late brother was one of the community members who helped plant the garden.

“My brother helped to plant this garden before he passed away,” said Anderson. “I wanted to come out and help the students in any way I could. I know it is what my brother would have wanted.”

The community garden is at 1701 Cherry Street, across the street from Kimberly Park Elementary School.

The Blank Space Project has a number of other community events planned for communities in the Winston-Salem area. For more information on these projects or to volunteer, visit


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