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Community Garden May Sprout Near Center

April 25, 2012
BY AMY WITSCHEY - Editor ( , Wetzel Chronicle

It looks like there will be a community garden on the county's property near the New Martinsville Senior Center and 911 Center this summer.

Don Macnaughtan appeared before the Wetzel County Commission Tuesday morning on behalf of the Grow Local Go Local movement. He requested permission to install a garden that would be utilized by several local growers - perhaps novices or more experienced gardeners. While he said they were getting a rather late start on the project, they wanted to initiate a small community garden somewhere, see how it goes, and then have more thorough plans next year.

Grow Local Go Local aims to increase personal and economic development through a program of education and the growing, marketing, and increased consumption of locally grown food. The initiative for Wetzel County was planted by Tom Myslinsky, who serves in the capacity as a VISTA volunteer at the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce.

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They group already has permission to install some raised beds for use by the seniors at the center, but this project is a separate endeavor. Macnaughtan said it would probably have a dozen 20x30 foot gardens available for use.

"I have no problem; it's a good idea," said Commission President Don Mason. The commission said they would check to make sure it didn't cause a liability problem, but they didn't think it would. Also, they wanted to be sure the gardens don't encroach on hospital property. Macnaughtan said he would check with Wetzel County Hospital on a proper placement for the garden. "We'd have to stay down, probably closer to the 911 center," cautioned Commission Vice President Bob Gorby.

Macnaughtan said they would like to get it tilled up as soon as possible to begin the growing.

In another matter, Andrew Bottolfson of Antero Resources returned to the commission with a proposed lease for the mineral rights on the Woods property and 4-H grounds. While a complete title search has not been conducted, he said a quick search shows the county owns half of the mineral rights on the 61-acre Woods property and all of the rights in the 4-H grounds' 36 acres. He also said, as surface owners of the Woods property, the commission has the leasing rights. Bottolfson said Antero doesn't do a complete search until a lease is signed. He further told the commission he is in discussion with owners of mineral rights around the Woods and 4-H properties.

Antero, headquartered in Colorado, has been in business for over 30 years. They have been doing a lot of work in Tyler and Ritchie counties. The commissioners said they will have prosecuting attorney and assessor look over the offered lease.



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