Feeling green: Suwanee to celebrate opening of park, garden

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

SUWANEE -- The Suwanee community will celebrate the grand opening of the Harvest Farm at White Street Park today with a bountiful harvest of activities.

The vegetables, fruits and flowers blossoming and ripening in Georgia's largest organic community garden will offer a lush, green backdrop for the festivities scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m., city officials said.

In addition to the official ribbon-cutting celebration, grand opening activities include cooking and organic lifestyle presentations and demonstrations, children's activities and crafts, gardening guidance, and bird, ladybug and antique farm equipment displays.

"I didn't have any idea how compelling of a project and how collaborative it would be in terms of community-building," Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams said of the community garden.

Although the city owns the land, the operation of the garden is a community initiative, Williams said.

"It's a community project ... that's really been an experiment, but so far it's just extremely successful," he said. "This has been a great catalyst for community-building."

Williams said he thinks the garden is an initiative that can last decades and will strengthen the fabric of the community. He also said it provides a great link to the city's agricultural history.

The mayor's family has a small plot in the garden that contains an arbor and other decorative elements.

"Even though we may not be very good gardeners, Debbie (his wife) is an interior designer, and we wanted to contribute to the ambiance of the garden," Williams said, "even if we couldn't contribute a lot of vegetables."

Although the garden is a draw, William said it's just one aspect of the new seven-acre park.

White Street Park includes a brightly painted and renovated red barn that houses picnic tables, a tool storage area and a small classroom. Future phases of the park include additional plots, trails and, tentatively, a treehouse for children as a chicken coop.

The park is located at 752 White St. in historic Old Town Suwanee. Those who wish to attend the grand opening, however, should plan to park at Town Center and ride the free shuttle to the park.