Renew the Food Project’s Lease at Ingalls

Posted on October 29, 2010

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Gordon Cole and Food Project Urban Grower Robert Burns next to Cole's row in the Community Garden.

 

Gordon Cole has lived on Collins Terrace for 42 years. He’s known the Food Project site next to Ingalls Elementary School as a grass field where his children and grandchildren played baseball and football. “This used to be home plate”, he tells me, pointing to a small crop of leafy greens. “That was first base, second base…”

Mr. Cole and his granddaughter Amy each have a row in the community garden section of the site, next to another section where newly arrived immigrants sponsored by the New American Center raise crops. Before the state and federal government mandated that Lynn replace their existing sewer system in 2004 to prevent combined overflow storm discharge into watershed from occurring, the neighborhood was rat-free, says Cole.

“When they dug up the sewers, that’s when the rats came,” Cole told me. At that time, the Food Project had recently started operations on the Ingalls school site. Cole’s dog Sako, was killing a rat per day. “There are no rats even nibbling now,”says Cole. He used to see fallen fruit with big bites take out. No more.

In fact, this past Spring, LHAND coordinated a major clean-up of the neighborhood, which Cole credits with controlling the problem. Rats may have passed through the Food Project’s garden, but now a major reason for their passage—the trash and garbage–has been eliminated.

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