Forsyth Community Gardening is starting a youth program, and we need your help! Learn more at our Youth and Community Gardens page, and consider making a donation to support this work! Thank you!

Are you interested in starting a community garden in Forsyth County? Please visit our Start a Garden page to learn about the process and access resources to help you get started.

1450 Fairchild Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27105

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Bethlehem Community Center Garden

  1. Bethlehem Community Center Garden520 N. Cleveland Ave.
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
    36.10121
    -80.23406
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The Bethlehem Community Center Sensory Garden was conceived and designed by the Environmental Ownership Committee of the Phi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (“AKA”) in early 2015 as part of the committee’s and sorority’s commitment to restore, refresh or renew a local play space. With tremendous financial and manpower help from a grant awarded by BB&T’s Lighthouse Project, much-needed technical and in-kind assistance from the Forsyth Cooperative Extension’s Community Gardening Program, The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Career Center, local community gardeners Connie and John Wall, and the unending support and encouragement from the Bethlehem administration and staff, Phi Omega unveiled the new garden and numerous playground improvements on May 29, 2015. After Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines cut the ribbon during the unveiling activities, members of Phi Omega helped Bethlehem students plant green beans and peas and decorate the cement paving stones that now form a path into the garden.

The Sensory Garden has been well-received by the students, parents, faculty, and staff of The Bethlehem Community Center. They join in with members of AKA to maintain the garden. It has served as a beautiful addition to the landscape, visible from classrooms, the playground, and Fifth Street, which runs behind the center. Seeds were carefully selected and planted in order to provide the children a variety of sights, smells, textures, and tastes. Miniature wind chimes created by the children added cheerful tones to the area. Monarch butterflies and bees, which help with pollination, were attracted to the garden’s towering and colorful zinnias, marigolds, and Mexican sunflowers. The scent of Chocolate Mint reminded the children of chewing gum. The cotton and Lamb’s Ear plants felt soft and fuzzy in the little ones’ hands. The garden was home to a variety of colorful vegetables, including white tomatoes, purple sweet potatoes, and yellow peppers. Some of the children and staff bravely sampled the Stevia, a natural sweetener, but may not quite be ready to use it in place of white cane sugar. Other items grown in the garden include okra, tomatillos, cucumbers, miniature watermelons, purple bell peppers, red corn, basil, onions, collards, lettuce, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, white eggplant, moon flowers, basil, and green beans. Bethlehem students and staff are encouraged to venture into the garden frequently and to share the fresh produce and flowers with their families.

The garden has provided the Bethlehem family, especially its young students, with an opportunity to see how vegetables, herbs, and flowers grow from seeds and or small plants. This hands-on educational tool is a good starting place to encourage the children to embody a life-long curiosity about gardening, nature, healthy eating, and taking care of the environment.