Nutrien gives $5,000 grant for community gardens at Richardson Community Center

Columbia County Chamber of Commerce

LAKE CITY – The Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and
Nutrien are working with the Richardson Community Center to implement a $5,000 grant given by Nutrien for community gardens.

Richardson Community Center is working to utilize a 94’X74’ space for the gardens. The funds have been used to purchase an irrigation system for raised planters, which was $2,500.00. The remaining funds will be expended on materials to construct raised planters, tools for planting and maintaining the garden, as well as soil and seeds.

   Mike Williams, Manager, Government & Industry Affairs at Nutrien as well as President of the Lake City - Columbia County Chamber of Commerce commented, “This garden project will provide fresh produce and food supplies to assist those who would benefit the most from these items. It was our pleasure to partner with the Lake City - Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and the Richardson Center to make this project a reality. Both are outstanding community partners. With projects such as this we can reduce local food insecurity.”

  The program is a true public/private partnership between Columbia County Recreation Department, Columbia County School District, Florida A&M Cooperative Extension, Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Nutrien, Richardson Community Center/Annie Mattox North (RCC/AMN), University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension, and Walmart Transportation. The Community Garden at Richardson Community Center is proud to have on staff the following individuals to help with this project: Harold Perry, Head Gardener; Willie Harris.

   Assistant Head Gardener; and Gerry Murphy, Master Gardener. Mr. Perry and Mr. Harris will be in charge of planting and maintaining the community garden. Mr. Murphy is assisting with the startup and implementation of the community garden.

The Community Garden at Richardson Community center will host a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Fall planting will include onions, collard greens, cabbage, mustards, turnips, and radishes. Spring planting will consist of tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, corn, okra, beans, cucumbers, peas, watermelons, and cantaloupes. This program will help in educating Columbia County Residents by not only building and implementing a community garden but also providing educational courses to youth and adults.

K-12 school age youth involved in the program will be instructed to build a community garden, including raised beds, adjacent to the existing outdoor recreational facilities at the Richardson Community Center; they will be educated on nutrition, healthy lifestyles, food safety, and environmentally friendly community garden practices. Youth involved in the project will be expected complete the following: plant, care for, and harvest crops; obtain food safety training certification for the aforementioned; deliver excess food to local Head Start and church groups; learn to prepare snacks from crops grown. For further information, contact Joey O’Hern, 386-752-3690, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

   Richardson Community Center is located at 255 NE Coach Anders Lane in Lake City.