Living Local

Living Local: The Aurora Community Garden initiative

AURORA, N.C. (WNCT) - The town of Aurora has struggled through some economic changes over the past few years, including the loss of a grocery store.

A community garden started four summers ago thanks to a grant and the support of the Healthy Eating Active Living Collaborative of Beaufort County. It’s located next to S.W. Snowden Elementary School. After thriving for a couple years, it was left untouched and overgrown.

This spring, a group of volunteers said they saw the value in having it and using it as a community outreach tool for the area. The garden is full of vegetables, herbs and flowers.

"It's a lot of fun to be in a small place and watch these things go on, I think you miss it in a big place," said volunteer and community activist, Joy Dunn.

Dunn is one of several volunteers who is ready to see a difference and watch the community grow. She hopes the garden will help that effort.

Garden organizer, Joy McCracken, hopes families and those struggling to get fresh vegetables on the table will use this garden as a motivator.

"Once they see how fun, how educational, how involved and easy it is to do something like this, they may go home and do it and bring back the Victory Garden concept,” said McCracken.

Anyone in the Aurora area is welcome to maintain their own bed in this already growing garden. Volunteers are eager teach how to garden, what to plant, and when to pick. Just bring your own seeds, stop by regularly to water and pull weeds, and then go home with your fresh produce.

“What better way than to come right out here and pick something right out of the garden” said Dunn. “You know what's been going on there, you have access to it. I would like to see people in this area, really get motivated to improve their own health."

Volunteers are in the process of writing a grant to secure funding so the land surrounding the garden can become a community area with a pavilion for markets and festivals.

"People could get together and talk once again, instead of being on social media all the time,” said volunteer Denise Bonner. “It would be great."

"This is not an endeavor of one person, or two, this is going to be a community effort," added Dunn.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the Aurora Community Garden, contact Joy McCracken via email at

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