Lemmon Avenue Garden brings more to the community than produce

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - In 2009 the intersection of Lemmon and Monroe looked different than it does today. Then, there was a run down house, now a flourishing garden takes its place but this garden brings us more than pumpkins, tomatoes, herbs or zucchini-- it's all about making the community a better place.

"When you involve others, they are invested. So where most people worry about theft and vandalism and things like that- we do not worry about that here. We evolve people and when people are evolved and invested, they protect their investment," says Roberta Harman with Y-Me Incorporated.

The garden is a partnership with NeighborWorks, the College Park Block Club, and Rapid City Police. Prior to setting up the garden, police made dozens of stops in the area every month. Now over the past 2 years that number down to about 5.

"Back in those days people were reluctant to come out of their house, I mean it was gangs, it was guns, it was crime. It gives you a safe place to meet, to gather, to talk about things to kind of take a stand," says Tracy Thacker with NeighborWorks.

Everyone involved in the Lemmon Avenue Garden says that upkeep is a full time job, but they are happy to be making a difference in the community.. and it really does take a village.

"To the Cub Scout mom who brought her Wolf pack here and they planted and then they harvested and then they took it and fed the homeless. So it's a great place to be," says Harman.

Officials say over the years they have been welcomed into the community and are happy to help bring farms good right to the table.