Last Spring, Jim Tarbell, one of SHP Leading Design’s employees and an avid community activist, came up with the idea of creating a community garden on a portion of the site our office building sits on. The site, currently only occupied by the first phase of a multi-phase office and retail development, offers large open areas that Jim felt could benefit the community instead of continuing to sit vacant. SHP quickly began talks with the property owner, Al. Neyer, Inc., who generously agreed to not only allow the the installation of the community garden but also agreed to help fund it by building garden beds and providing water. With interest from over 200 community members and many SHP employees, the community garden had its first growing season in 2009 and is now back in full swing in 2010. Not only does the garden provide an opportunity for anyone in the community to grow fresh produce for their own homes, but the garden also partners with community groups such as the Center for Closing the Health Gap to provide education around the benefits of fresh vegetables and healthy eating. What a great way to encourage organic growing and eating locally produced food!