PLEASANTVILLE — Madyson Thill, an eleventh-grader at Pleasantville High School, is trying to start a community garden in town.

Behind the library, a plot of land has been designated for a garden.

“I need interest in it before I can make anything official,” Thill said.

Monty Collins, a vocational agriculture teacher, gave the students the idea. People in the community have been trying to start a community garden, Thill said.

Collins said the class should try to get it going again.

“We got together to plan, and everyone dropped out,” Thill said. “Now it's just me planning it.”

The past couple of weeks Thill has been putting ideas together to put the word out. The garden has captured the interest of some in the community. Thill said she has found a handful of people who are willing to help who would like a spot in the garden to plant.

Not everyone has a yard and equipment to plant a garden. The FFA are providing the tiller and a garden border fence.

“There is no charge to owning a spot for a year to plant,” Thill said. “As soon as the frost threat subsides, people can start planting their plot.”

The garden pulls the community together. The library has been struggling, but it's coming back up again, Thill said. Having this plot behind the library will help draw attention to the library.

The spot itself connects the square with the school, which also connects the library. The plots are on the library's land. Thill said many students walk across the land where the plot is going.

“We think this will be a good way to connect the square,” Thill said, “because people meet on the square.”

Thill said she would like to see the spot behind the library turned into a meeting area for the community. She would like to see benches and possibly a gazebo in the area where people can gather for events.

Joellen Collins, Director of the Pleasantville Library, said, she is here for moral support and would like the garden to be successful.

“It's a win-win for the community. It educates children and gets the community involved and together,” Collins said. “I don't see how it can go wrong. I hope we get enough involvement in it so that it can eventually grow into something big.”

Collins said she is trying to get a youth program going in the elementary school to get elementary students involved with the garden.

For more information on how to get a spot or for ways to help, contact Thill at 515-971-7959 or by email, mthill@pleasantville.k12.ia.us.

Ethan Goetz can be reached at reporter@pellachronicle.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155. Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at reporter@pellachronicle.com. Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.

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