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Church Volunteers Help Spruce Urban Farm

85 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out Saturday to lend a hand.

As Grow it Green Morristown prepares for , local groups are coming out to get the Urban Farm at Lafayette in show condition. This included 85 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Morris Township, who helped out on Saturday as part of their congregation's "Day of Service" events.

The press release is below.

Approximately 85 volunteers from the Morristown congregation of turned out for their annual Day of Service event on Saturday to help prepare for an upcoming fundraiser for the farm’s parent organization, Grow It Green Morristown.

Members wearing the traditional “Mormon Helping Hands” yellow vests partnered with Grow It Green Morristown volunteers to weed gardens, mulch walkways, build a lean-to storage area and repair fences damaged from the recent ravages of a very persistent groundhog.

The joint project began when Bishop Mark McBride, the leader of the Morristown Ward, met with Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty looking for opportunities to contribute to the community. “When Mayor Dougherty suggested Grow It Green Morristown, it seemed like a perfect fit,” Bishop McBride recalled. “The group’s mission is not just to grow vegetables, but to grow community. And that is just what the Latter-day Saints are trying to help Morristown do.”

The Urban Farm at Lafayette, located behind the in Morristown, is the result of a partnership between Grow It Green and the Morris School District in taking under utilized land behind the school and turning it into a small farm. Students from preschool to high school learn about planting, beekeeping, and organic farming from Shaun Ananko, affectionately known as “Farmer Shaun,” the full-time manager of the project.

Three-year-old Jennie Williams, when asked to name her favorite part of the day quickly listed digging up potatoes and feeding the chickens. “It’s great to have an activity where all the family members from the youngest to the oldest can work together in serving the community,” noted Jennie’s father, Dave, of the church’s Morristown Stake Presidency.

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