September 2019 Park Angel of the Month: Kevin Conlon
Kevin Conlon became a resident of the Wagener Terrace neighborhood in 2003. Since then he has taken an active role in his neighborhood and revitalizing the Corrine Jones Park and Playground. Today Kevin Conlon serves as the co-chair of the fundraising committee for the Corrine Jones Community Garden , which is currently in development to open later this fall. The Corrine Jones Community Garden will be operated by the Charleston Parks Conservancy allowing residents to lease out individual garden beds to sew and grow produce of their own.
“When I moved into the neighborhood, the space where Corrine Jones Park is today was owned by the Charleston County School District,” said Kevin. “The neighbors and I pushed to have the space turned into a public park and eventually the school district agreed to transfer Corrine Jones Park to the City of Charleston. Soon after I met Harry Lesesne, the executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy who told me about the plans to build a new playground in the park. It didn’t take long before I joined the fundraising committee for that project and I got to work on getting the neighborhood involved. The Conservancy gave us the opportunity to organize and raise funds for the playground and they continue to be involved with the park today.”
After the playground renovation project was completed in 2011 Kevin became involved in the next project for the new community garden. “When Harry came to me interested in setting up a community garden at Corrine Jones I was all in,” said Kevin. “The park space has the perfect amount of space and sunlight for growing.”
When asked about his personal gardening experience Kevin said, “I keep my house plants alive,” with a smile. “ I’m really excited about getting our own community garden bed and growing produce with me and my family. We have a blueberry bush and fig tree and it won’t be long before they’ve outgrown their pots. I can’t wait to learn from the community garden team how to grow our own produce and share it with the community.”
“Working with The Conservancy again was an easy decision,” shared Kevin. “It’s been so great to see neighbors come out of the woodwork and really engage with one another which wouldn’t have been possible without this space. I’m looking forward to seeing the community continue to grow when the community garden is completed.”
The Fundraising Committee’s goal is to raise an additional $20,000 in private funds to complete the Corrine Jones Community Garden renovation. If you’re interested in supporting the Corrine Jones Community Garden please donate here.