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Community Garden Dedicated to Former Resident

ROXBORO, N.C.--Roxboro Housing Authority (RHA) honored the life of a resident that had a passion for gardening as it started planting fruits and vegetables at one of its four apartment communities.

RHA dedicated the Weatherly Heights Community Garden to former resident Connie Jean Holloway.  More than 20 of her family members along with RHA residents, staff and guests attended a public event.  

"This occasion of dedicating this community garden in honor of Ms. Holloway is bitter sweet," said Felts Lewis, RHA executive director. "She was one of most committed residents to help the children in the garden.  Her legacy lives on today and in the future."

A commemorative sign was unveiled as instrumental leaders of the community garden at Weatherly Heights Apts. gave remarks.  They include Bernard Obie, local organic farmer and the brainchild of the community garden construction and planting; Erin Redfern, S.T.E.A.M. Coordinator at across-the-street neighbor South Elementary School; Larry Mayfield, FSS Coordinator and RHA's Community Engagement Coordinator and Kat Love of a national non-profit called Alliance for a Healthier Generation. 

Love helped produce a video, documenting the school-community partnership established during the Summer of 2022, between South Elementary and RHA as they work together to teach school children during the summer months about agriculture and science.

Ms. Holloway was an avid supporter, volunteering every Wednesday to support garden activities led by school teachers.

In September of the same year the partnership was established, Ms. Holloway died after being hit by a drunk driver near her apartment a day before her birthday.

In 2020, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, RHA Executive Director Felts Lewis allocated CARES ACT funds from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to create a large, multi-sectional raised-bed, organic community garden at each of its four communities. The goals were to bring public housing residents together outdoors in a safer space to form communal bonds and to grow healthy foods in their own community.