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Grand Island

No room to plant those heirloom tomatoes you’ve always wanted to try growing on your own?

Thanks to the initiative of two Island residents, you can give your green thumb a workout at the Grand Island Community Gardens.

It’s an idea John and Brigitte Drehs brought back with them from Portland, Oregon, where they lived for three years.

There, they belonged to a similar community garden – a common plot of land that is gardened by a collective group of people.

They treasured the experience.

They made lifelong friends with their fellow gardeners in Portland and thought Grand Island could benefit from a similar sense of camaraderie.

“It brings a sense of community, a sense of neighborhood-ism, a sense of well-being to the Island,” John Drehs said.

Chuck Rizzo, owner of the Gas Market, donated the land for the garden, which is at the corner of Stony Point and Ransom Roads.

About 31 of the 114 plots in the garden have already been claimed. The Drehs have even fielded interest from Island restaurateurs interested in growing their own peppers and tomatoes for use in their menus.

Plots are roughly 15 feet by 8 feet. There is an initial fee of $20 to help cover the first water bill. For more information or to request a plot of your own, visit grandislandgardens.com or call 601-5972.

Also this week:

• The Grand Island Town Board will meet for three workshops this week at Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road. It will meet Monday at 8 a.m., Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. and Wednesday at 4 p.m.

• Relay for Life will hold an informational meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road. The group raises money and awareness to fight cancer through the American Cancer Society.

• Family Science Night will be held at Grand island Senior High School, 1100 Ransom Road, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Students from Veronica E. Connor Middle School will share their science projects while children of all ages are invited to try hands-on science activities.

• St. Stephen’s Parish Players will present the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof” at the church, 2100 Baseline Road Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. For more information, call 465-5574.

• The Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, will hold a Family Movie Afternoon Saturday at 2 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, including the title of the movie, call the library at 773-7124.