Our Voice: We’re thankful for our areas’ community gardens

Growing together

Community gardens give people a place to grow. Some want flowers; some want produce; some just want to work the ground.

Kennewick and Richland have had success with their community gardens in recent years and have expanded their projects. Last year Pasco opened a community garden and this year West Richland is giving it a try.

It’s a great idea.

There are many reasons why someone would rent a spot in a community garden. Those living in apartments, for example, may not have access to a garden otherwise. Some people, on the other hand, prefer the socialization of working in a community plot and rubbing shoulders with fellow “green thumbs.”

Gardening is a great way to supplement your diet with fresh produce, it’s a stress buster and some studies say the bacteria in dirt actually fights depression.

Whatever the motivation, we’re grateful to the cities that make these opportunities available. The concept is relatively new to the Mid-Columbia, although parts of the country have been doing it for years. Dare we say, we’re thankful the idea is “growing” in the Mid-Columbia.

Military cremains

Locally and across the country many people have died and their remain are unclaimed. Whatever the reason, the Benton County Coroner’s Office has the cremated remains of 32 people in storage.

John Hundahl is an area representative for the Missing in America Project. He has cross-checked the names of those who have died with military records and collected more than 50 unclaimed cremains of veterans from around the state. They will be given a full military burial in September at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake. Seven of them are from Benton County.

We’re thankful that at least some of the cremains have been claimed and are scheduled for interment. Franklin County places their unclaimed remains in a public crypt after two years. Maybe it’s time to consider something like that in Benton County.

Academic All Stars

We’re inspired this week by two Columbia Basin College students who have overcome notable challenges to become All-USA Academic All Stars at CBC as selected by CBC President Rich Cummins.

Royden Luckey and Oumou Sidibe come from different circumstances and have arrived at the same place, graduating with honors and an enviable GPA. Both are nontraditional students, Luckey because he’s a little older and Sidibe because she could barely speak English when she started school.

We wish them well on their future endeavors.