The project was coordinated through Hands On Birmingham, which received a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation to establish five raised bed gardens at one of the Arc’s residential homes in Jasper.
Holly Patrick, day program coordinator for the Arc, said the idea was inspired by work the clients did last spring at the community garden on Airport Road.
“It was a lot of fun, and they really had a sense of accomplishing something when something would grow and they would be able to pick it and prepare it in one of our cooking classes,” Patrick said.
The raised beds will benefit between 80 and 90 individuals who participate in the Arc’s day program.
Volunteers, including several AmeriCorps VISTAs and members of Boy Scout Troop 117 as well as representatives of the Arc, spent nearly four hours building the beds on Monday.
The next phase of the project is water sealing and allowing Arc clients to put their artistic stamp on the beds by painting them.
It will conclude with a garden party where the first vegetables will be planted.
Monday’s service opportunity at the Arc was Hands On Birmingham’s only in Walker County but one of 43 coordinated in five counties in central Alabama.
Hands On Birmingham, which connects volunteers with projects in their communities through its website, serves more than 200 agencies in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair and Walker counties.
It was the group’s 13th year to participate in the Martin Luther King Day of Service.