Volunteers find 'Common Ground' picking produce

Everything in the Common Ground Community Garden is maintained organically.

It's not typically an area where you would see greenery. But in the midst of trucks and trailers, there's a garden.

"It is just really trying to do something different, a new idea to a community and to show them how you can transform a vacant lot into something beautiful," Jessie Dryden said.

This space on 8th Street and Warren Barett Drive didn't always have this scenery. It use to be an empty lot until Dryden got into it with her green thumbs.

"I think sometimes you have to create a path and that's what I'm trying to do here is sojourn and to give people an alternative to what's currently accreted," she said.

Dryden started the Common Ground Community Garden with Hannibal Parks and Recreation. The land is part of the FEMA flood plain buyout. That means the space is prohibited from housing a permanent structure. Parks and Rec was original going to create another park in the area until ...

"... Jessie came to us with this idea and we just love it," Hannibal Parks and Recreation Supervisor Mary Lynne Richards said. "We love that people are finding new ways to recreate in their community."

The garden is maintained by Dryden and volunteers. Once everything is harvested the team will be able to take home what sprouted.

But this garden is more than just a space to get produce and flowers. It serves a bigger purpose for the Hannibal community.

"Just hearing people talk about Hannibal and the negativity that kind of surrounds this town a little bit and hearing what they have to say about it kind of broke my heart," Dryden says. "It doesn't have to be this way, there is still good here."

That good, Dryden says is the community. She hopes to bring it together through Common Ground.

"We all plant seeds and we are selves are that seed and what kind of fruit we bare is really determined by how we interact with other people and how we come together," Dryden said. "Whether we bare fruit or not we all leave a mark on the community. So it's about giving them a space, a common ground to share that with each other."

Dryden hopes to create another community garden in America's Hometown. She's working on a grant to get it started.

You can see more of the garden and learn about volunteering by clicking, here.

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