Two years ago the Charleston Parks Conservancy offered James Island residents a garden-to-table option at Medway Park & Community Garden. Quickly, residents began filling the 60 leased beds with produce and flowers while meeting their neighbors and learning more about growing their own vegetables and herbs.
Now the garden is in a second phase of development as graduate students from the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston spent their fall semester designing and building a new garden pavilion at Medway Community Garden, 2113 Medway Road. With input from Conservancy staff and community gardeners, a dozen architecture students learned how to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional structure that’s both a gathering place for gardeners, storage area for tools, work space for cleaning produce and focal point for the community’s use of the park.
Construction began in early November, and students are putting the finishing touches on their work this week.
The Conservancy is funding the cost of the materials at about $10,000. Additional fundraising is underway to complete a water collection station that is being designed into the garden pavilion. The cost to complete that piece of the project will be $4,000 and donations are still needed.
In November, the Conservancy received a $5,000 grant from Publix Supermarket Charities for Medway Community Garden. The first phase of the garden was funded largely by donations from The Standard James Island and Olde Charlestowne Sertoma Club.
In the past, undergraduate students at the center have worked on projects in the Conservancy’s other two community gardens: Elliotborough on the peninsula and Magnolia Community Garden in West Ashley.
“We’re fortunate to have forged such a positive relationship with Clemson Architecture Center. The students are gaining real-world experience designing and building something that people will use everyday, and, in turn, we can enhance the community gardening experience with a pavilion where people can gather with their fellow gardeners or simply sit and admire the fruits of their labors,” said Jim Martin, director of programs.
Anyone interested in contributing to the work at Medway Community Garden can donate online at www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/donate.
About the Charleston Parks Conservancy
The Charleston Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. The Conservancy opens doors to individuals and organizations in Charleston wanting to engage with their parks and green spaces in a kaleidoscope of positive ways. With the help of its Park Angels, the Conservancy improves, enhances, and invigorates these spaces, making Charleston even better, stronger, and more successful. For more information about or to support the Charleston Parks Conservancy, please visit www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.