"SAFE did not happen by accident, it is the result of visionary planning on the part of Sylacauga and Talladega County citizens who met the test of leadership and proclaimed to the world....we value families and we will build a support system so that everyone has the opportunity to succeed."
- Mary A. Jolly, Executive Director Emeritus, Alabama Network of Family Resource Centers
In January 2009, several major employers in Sylacauga closed their doors and left hundreds of citizens without jobs. Shortly after the factory closings, the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce and other community agencies came together to hold a job fair for unemployed workers. At the job fair, a committee of community volunteers conducted a needs assessment with nearly 300 surveys completed. After the needs assessments were compiled and analyzed, the greatest need was food. Upon hearing that food was such a great need, a group of volunteers formed a committee called Sylacauga Grows. The ultimate goal of the committee was to establish a community garden to distribute and sell produce, at a discounted rate, to citizens who needed food on their table. In March of 2009, the ground was plowed and ready for planting.
The Sam H. Wright Sylacauga GROWS Community Garden continues to thrive and grow after 12 years. On the 5-acre parcel of land, a fruit orchard and production garden persist and provide food needs to the public. “Market Days” take place when produce is in abundance. Four part-time employees work hard to keep production of the garden going year-round. Security lights and cameras were added this year providing a safe and secure area.
Click Below to See More Photos
Since its inception, the Sylacauga GROWS production garden has produced over
In FY2020, 618 individuals were served with over 1,800 pounds of vegetables harvested.
In FY2020, 85 volunteers contributed their time, talent and treasures to the success of the garden.