The neighborhood needed a focal point. Susannah Baskervill, a Mary Baldwin University senior, needed a project. May 6, Baskervill and Staunton Horticulturist Holly Chichester will talk to the public about how they helped students from an after-school program at Booker T. Washington Community Center turn a barren plot into a community vegetable garden this spring.

Baskervill is this year’s recipient of the Margarett Kable Russell award – named after an alumna of the Class of 1902 who was the first woman elected to the college’s Board of Trustees. She used the award’s $1,000 stipend to purchase materials for the garden and to reward the children for participating.

Chichester said creating an inner-city garden has long been on the project list for the horticulture team. Although the garden has a temporary home on Stafford Street, it will be moved to a larger, more permanent location this summer where residents will maintain and further develop the project Baskervill started. Chichester hopes it will renew residents’ pride in the city and interest in creating beautiful, productive spaces in unused areas.

“If the garden provides the community with a small haven or escape, as sense of pride, a way to connect with the earth, or just a relaxing hobby, I will certainly consider it a success,” Baskervill said.

Baskervill’s presentation, ‘Roots and Wings: Fostering Self-Sufficiency Through Agriculture’ will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the Mary Baldwin campus.