Volunteers at the Lawrence Indian Center are looking for local green thumbs to get involved with a gardening project that has been growing steadily since it began this spring.
The Indian Center's Care Share Garden program was started in April by Cynthia Butler, a local resident and Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) volunteer.
Butler has organized dozens of local people to tend weeds and plants at a garden at the Indian center, and help local residents start their own gardens at home.
"It's a coming together for the community, for a common cause," she said. "Gardening gives people a chance to do something like a family. It teaches about the cycles of life."
Butler, who has helped serve meals at the Salvation Army and the Lawrence Interdenominational Nutrition Kitchen, has encouraged several people served by the agencies during recent weeks to get involved with the Care Share Garden.
"We have a wide variety of people helping out," she said. "These are people I rub elbows with each week."
THE INDIAN center, located at 1423 Haskell, in October received a small grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to pay for garden seeds and tools for a community gardening program.
Volunteers have carved out a garden at the Indian center measuring about 200 square feet, Butler said.
She said the program offers constructive activity for low-income and other residents interested in working outside.
"We're encouraging people to grow their own food," she said.
Butler said residents who are interested in starting a garden at home, but don't know how, may contact volunteers at the project.
Butler also said she hoped the program could lead to "satellite" gardens at other social service agencies.
"Just about anything we can do like this is going to bring the community together more," she said.
Charlene Johnson, executive director of the Indian center, said plans call for additional edible plants to be landscaped around the center.
"WE WANT to plant fruit trees and bushes, so we can have an edible landscape," she said.
Organizers of the gardening project say anyone is welcome to participate.
Organizers also are looking for plots of land that could be used for residents who have no place of their own to start a garden. Donations of seeds and tools also are being accepted.
For more information, call the Indian center at 841-7202.