The community garden in Downtown Johnstown at the intersection of Vine and Franklin Streets is changing and it’s not just because of the season.
After being under the care of the Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership for the last six years, the Johnstown Fire Department will now oversee maintenance of the garden.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve worked with the local corrections facility, to try and maintain the garden but we’ve always but we’ve always needed a little extra help,” said Melissa Radovanic the president of the Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership.
For the fire department it’s a return to their roots, one of the city’s original fire stations stood where the garden now sits years ago.
Eric Miller, president of the Johnstown Firefighters Union Local 463, says the original station in the 1800s was destroyed by the 89’ flood and was then rebuilt. But the fire department found a new home shortly after.
“In 1906 when the city fire department became from the 9 volunteer departments it was a station until 1926 when we moved from this station to the public safety building currently,” said Miller.
Soon a piece of history will be planted in the garden to memorialize firefighters who have lost their lives serving Johnstown.
“What we have planned is to take the firefighters memorial bell which located at Central Park now, bring it over here and make it a lasting memorial for the seven firefighters that have died in the line of duty in the city of Johnstown,” said Miller.
While the garden will now be a place to remember the lives lost it will still serve the community.
“It will still provide the fresh produce to the residents of the downtown area but what the fire department has in mind as a way to honor their fallen is a wonderful addition to it,” said Radovanic.