Groups team up to revitalize Toronto community garden | News, Sports, Jobs

A VARIETY OF ART — The community garden organized by the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization was decorated with a dozen paintings by students from Toronto High School. They are one of a handful of groups working with the coalition to revitalize the garden at North Fourth and Clark streets. — Contributed

TORONTO — The community garden created by the Toronto Coalition for Revitalization is getting a facelift thanks to the efforts of a handful of groups.

George Komar, group chairman, said DeNoon Lumber and 84 Lumber have supplied lumber and other materials for 10 new planters at the garden, which is on the corner of North Fourth and Clark streets.

He said members of the Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters agreed to build them, while Toronto High School students produced new paints used for decoration.

School art teacher Amanda Speece recruited the following students for the project: Leah Gibson, Shayne Connor, Shaun Kuchan, Taylor Hill, Alaina Ensminger, Camee Allen, Monique Sloane, Michael Mikula, Donnie Swick, Mayley Board , Ryley Burch, Zierra McElwain and Emma Blair.

The paintings feature creatures from nature and classic cartoon characters and “Star Wars,” the latter inspired by 8-year-old Noah Long’s love of space fantasy.

Long, who died of cancer in 2014, inspired the mural overlooking the garden.

Komar said individuals or groups use the planters for free on the condition that they sign an agreement that they will maintain them regularly, without using insecticides, weed killers or toxic agents, and that they will help with cleaning. at the end of the season.

He said the Jefferson County Health Department has expressed interest in providing materials to residents interested in teaching their children gardening there.

Those interested can call Komar at (740) 317-3947 for more information.

In addition to the handful of new benefactors, Komar expressed his thanks to city officials for their support of the garden over the years.

“Without the city, the garden would not be” he said.

Komar noted that art has played an important role in the coalition’s efforts to attract people to the city.

He said now that the warm weather has arrived, local artist Doug Griffith will soon resume work on a mural celebrating various aspects of Toronto.

The mural is on a 12-by-40-foot wall of the Special Way building on North Fourth Street.

Komar said he is looking for other businesses with available space for what he describes as interactive murals, as they are designed to allow viewers to enter for a photo.

Concepts for them range from angel wings with just space for a person to stand between them to strike an angelic pose, to a set of balloons that the individual can pretend to grasp.

Komar said that the person “in the fresco” can then post the image to social media while hopefully noting where it was taken and drawing attention to the city.

Companies interested in hosting such a mural should call Komar at the number above.

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