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Community garden hopes to have positive impact on community

Pastoral Community Garden.jpg

It's about caring for Mother Earth. That's the idea behind a new community garden in El Paso.

"We've dreamed out this for a good while and now we see it taking shape," said Bishop Mark Seitz with the El Paso Catholic Diocese.

He is talking about the brand new Pastoral Center Community Garden. The inspiration for the garden came from a letter that Pope Francis wrote where he encouraged people to create eco-friendly programs.

"His letter gave us the impulse to start thinking how can we as members of the church serve our community and in that process really help people to become more conscious about the importance of caring for this Earth and valuing what we have," Seitz said.

Earlier this month, the diocese celebrated a ribbon-cutting ceremony and first planting of the season at the garden.

"We wanted to come up with an idea to engage the local community in finding a way to self sustain when it came to vegetables," said Nancy Ramos, a spokeswoman for the El Paso Catholic Diocese.

Master gardeners were on hand last weekend to help people learn about the best ways to create a sustainable garden.

Currently, the garden features these raised flower beds but there are plans in the works to expand.

"We've got beds available," said Ramos. "We started small but we definitely have the land and the space so we can grow."

The idea is to create an asset for the neighborhood and eventually grow food to help the needy in our community.

"This is definitely an effort on the part of the Catholic Diocese but we want El Paso to come on out," Ramos said. "Doesn't matter, any denomination and help us save the Earth."

To cultivate your own plot in the garden, people can pay $30 a year, which covers water and soil and tools.

The Pastoral Center Community Garden is located at 8330 Park Haven, behind the Diocese of El Paso Pastoral Center grounds.

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