Austintown residents, officials bringing life to old school property


Local community members and township officials are working together to bring life to the former Woodside Elementary School property on Elmwood Avenue.

After months of planning, supporters broke ground tonight on the Woodside Community Garden. After a short ceremony, a group of township residents got their hands dirty and began planting sunflower seeds.

Dale Basista, a garden committee member, said the sunflower patch is step one. Surrounding the property with wildflowers will come next.

“We want to beautify this property as much as possible,” he said.

The township obtained the seven-acre property in a land swap with the Austintown School District. Rick Stauffer, chairman of the township trustees, said they wanted to protect the land. When Basista came to the board with the idea of a community garden, that seemed perfect.

“We can do something good for this community with it,” Stauffer said. “Something good on the east side of Austintown is really good for the township.”

The committee decided to start with a sunflower patch and wildflowers because they are drought resistant. One of the first major projects is digging a well.

Once the garden has a water source, berry patches, vegetable gardens and fruit trees will follow.

Read more about the project in Friday's Vindicator or on

More like this from

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.