The Director of Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES), Giavanna Townsend says the program continues to expand and add programs in the short time since it was started in the City of Binghamton.

Speaking on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up July 21 and 28, Townsend says what was planned as a community garden effort only a few years ago has already expanded to over a doze garden plots, an Urban Garden and educational programs that extend beyond the City of Binghamton.

Townsend says improving spaces in communities has the power to not only make areas look better but to improve relationships among residents as they develop a shared interest in gardening and food and talk to each other more.  The program also provides needed fresh food to neighborhoods that are lacking access to healthy choices.

Information about the VINES program, upcoming projects, workshops and how to get started in a gardening program can be found at www.vinesgardens.org or by calling Townsend at (607) 205-8108.

Southern Tier Close Up can be heard Saturdays at 12:10 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF.