By Karim Shamsi-Basha
Behind Moton Community Center is a large field that used to house a playground, along with a massive steel shed for basketball games, picnics and events. The place is now deserted deteriorated.
Enter Albert Daw. The Leeds resident is organizing efforts to plant a rose garden in the corner of the field behind the community center to add beauty to the neighborhood. In year two of his dream-project, he wants to install a vegetable garden.
Leeds residents can join in the rose garden. You can bring a rose bush to dedicate in honor of a loved one, living or gone, and pay $25 for it to be planted there, fed throughout the season and have a nameplate made to go with the plant.
“I have always wanted to do this in my community. We have the space, so why not? Leeds City Councilwoman Linda Miller and Councilman Ryan Bell are helping me,” Daw said, looking over the vast space he can imagine flourishing with rose plants everywhere. “I can see it. It would add so much beauty and joy.”
I asked Daw why he was leading the effort of installing a rose garden in the vast and empty field.
“I have always dreamed of a small, neighborhood botanical garden. It will bring joy to the people who live here, and to anyone who walks by. The garden will also include a meditation spot where you can just sit and enjoy nature,” Daw said. “We are just concerned citizens who want to beautify their community. The rose garden will be for everyone.”
Daw pointed across the field stepping on it and walking a bit. He turned around and said, “Can’t you just see it? It would be so beautiful, no one can resist the beauty of roses.”
Daw is starting a nonprofit to help him make his rose garden dream a reality.
“We want to start a nonprofit called Community Action Togetherness, or CAT. It will help us accomplish all these projects,” Daw said.
The planting of the rose garden will take place on May 1. If you are available and would like to help, show up at the Moton field on that day, in your jeans of course. For information on the rose garden or to help with the planting, contact Albert Daw on Facebook or call 205-383-8626.