Cultivate Community Gardens celebrates grand opening in Santa Rosa Beach

Special to Gannett

SANTA ROSA BEACH — Cultivate Community Gardens (CCG), the first community garden in South Walton, will celebrate its grand opening with a free public event and ribbon cutting this Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. until noon at 810 JD Miller Road in Santa Rosa Beach.

The community is invited to come view the garden and learn more about organic gardening from special guest and local farmer Robert Wheeler. Bring the kids to enjoy the playground and crafts; there will also be a free raffle for gardening-related prizes.

The garden opened this spring for gardeners and plants are already beginning to flourish in the 24 planted garden beds.

“It’s been so rewarding to watch families and friends come together to plant and tend their gardens and learn more about organic gardening here in Northwest Florida,” said Angie Reilly, South Walton resident and president of Cultivate Community Gardens.

Cultivate Community Gardens was made possible through Walton County, several grant contributors including St. Joe Community Foundation, the J.W. Couch Foundation and the generous support of community members and local businesses.

“Several local residents came together over four years ago with the vision of starting the first community garden in this area. It’s been a labor of love and we look forward to watching it grow and create long-lasting, healthy relationships with our neighbors and natural environment,” added Reilly.

CCG will establish, manage and maintain a pesticide free, non-GMO community garden. The non-profit took applications from community members and Walton residents to become the first gardeners who tend their own plots. There are still plots available and those interested in joining may visit for more information and to submit an application.

The garden will also offer hands-on learning opportunities while providing community members the space, education and skills related to sustainable gardening practices and land stewardship. A set number of beds will be reserved for local schools and civic groups who wish to have a space to garden and learn the benefits of gardening and issues important to the environment.