Organizers of plant giveaway approach Hancock council for help with logistics

by Geoff Fox

Wendy Weller told Hancock officials her organization was looking to hold an event where plants were handed out to the community.

The plant giveaway is scheduled for Saturday, May 20 at the Latter-day Saints church parking lot from 10 a.m. until noon, or until supplies run out.

Weller was representing Just Serve – a free service that links community volunteer needs with volunteers and also matching volunteer’ s skills with an organization’s needs.

Last year, a number of the members from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints went to the McConnellsburg event to help with distribution of plants at a similar event.

“That was their third year of doing that and it was a huge blessing to the community,” Weller said.

There were 4,000 plants at the giveaway donated by local businesses or grown by church members, Weller said, and all 4,000 plants were given away to 300 people within four hours.

Weller said there would be herbs, flowers, vegetables, and seeds available.

There were Master Gardeners available during the McConnellsburg event to give gardening tips to people.

Weller also said the church had made arrangements with local food banks and community gardens to have certain plants pulled forward so they could be given to specific areas.

“We’re kind of hoping to do the same thing for Hancock,” she said, “to benefit all of our communities, our neighbors.”

Weller said they’d be looking to reach out to the Berkeley Springs and Needmore communities as well and to get Master Gardeners

to come in from both Morgan and Washington counties.

Because it is a big event, Weller said organizers are concerned about the number of people attending and an increase in traffic in a residential neighborhood. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sits at the end of Douglas Street.

Weller said organizers have thought about getting the Boy Scouts to come out and direct traffic and help with parking.

Councilman David Kerns wanted W eller to confirm the time, which she said was 10 a.m. Weller noted people tend to arrive early for the event.

During last year’s event, Weller said people were lined up around a McConnellsburg Save-A-Lot and bank parking lot as they waited for the plants.

Councilman Josh McCusker said they could also alert the Hancock Police Department to a potential increase in traffic in that area.

Mayor Tim Smith also suggested adding a sign along Pennsylvania Avenue to alert drivers about the giveaway as a way to prevent accidents in that area.

If it would rain, Weller said they could move the event inside as well.