Starting with raw land covered in grass with very few amenities, the Sugar Hill Community Garden has been transformed over the past decade into a haven for local gardeners.
Founded in 2011 at the suggestion of Sugar Hill City Council member Susie Walker, a master gardener, the garden began as a labor intensive project for 17 community members who wanted to create something special.
“I kind of think of the wild, wild west,” said Steve Graessle, president of the community garden. “Here’s your flag, go out and find the plot you want.”
Over time, better amenities were added, including a deer fence to keep out deer and rabbits, an irrigation system that pumps water from a nearby creek, a paved parking lot, a pollination garden and expanded 5 by 15 feet raised garden beds where community members grow corn, okra, cucumbers, various types of peppers, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, beans, peas, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and more.
“It has been a labor of love and to see the garden transformed into what it is today is heartwarming beyond words,” Walker said. “The garden is at full capacity with the most wonderful people.”
Daphne Anderson has been a part of the garden since its humble beginnings.
“It was fun to be part of the start of something,” Anderson said. “We’ve come a long way, but there’s still more to do. There’s always room to grow.”
In late June, the city celebrated the garden’s 10th anniversary and its most recent revitalization efforts with a re-dedication ceremony. More than 50 people were in attendance for the event, including Sugar Hill City Manager Paul Radford and council members Taylor Anderson, Brandon Hembree and Walker.
A special marker notes the significance of the garden.
“This is just another wonderful amenity for Sugar Hill residents,” Graessle said. “I can’t wait to see where we are in another 10 years!”