The executive director of Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Enviornments, Inc. (VINES,) Amelia LoDolce, is on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up with an update on how the growth and expansion of community garden program.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

VINES was started in 2007 as a volunteer-led project to build community gardens in the City of Binghamton that could not only provide much-needed fresh produce to an area but build skills and social-interaction of neighbors.

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LoDolce says since then, the program has expanded beyond the City's borders into areas like Johnson City and Endicott and provides produce to the VINES Farm Stand at Tudor and Susquehanna Streets as well as the Downtown Courtyard Market and local food recovery programs for the needy.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

LoDolce says the coronavirus pandemic has really increased the interest in gardening among residents and VINES instructional programs can be a help for those just starting to develop their green thumb.

While the pandemic has limited the number of spaces available for people to get involved in the established community gardens and the participants in youth employment initiatives, VINES is continuing to move those programs forward and further expansion is anticipated.

More information about VINES can be found at www.vinesgardens.org or by calling the office at (607) 205-8108.

Southern Tier Close Up is heard Saturdays at 12:04 p.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF and anytime on our podcast.