Charles Henry Chapman Memorial Community Garden
Brother Wilcher Spikes, Chairperson
The Charles Henry Chapman Memorial Community Garden, affectionately known as the Community Garden, stands as a enduring testament to the unwavering commitment of the Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Beta Phi Lambda Chapter. This remarkable endeavor is dedicated to the memory of one of the fraternity's distinguished founders, Jewel Charles Henry Chapman, renowned for his pioneering work in agricultural education at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Situated in Thunderbolt, Georgia, just on the outskirts of the City of Savannah, the Community Garden occupies the historic grounds where the structure once known as The Hole, or The Blue Notes, once stood. Regrettably, this edifice fell victim to a devastating fire and was subsequently demolished. Given the property's ownership by Beta Phi Lambda, contemplation turned toward establishing a fraternity house. However, this vision remained unrealized, and the plot evolved into a gathering place for brothers, fostering camaraderie and unity. Under the visionary guidance of Brothers Geoffrey Johnson, Sol Myers III, Wilcher Spikes, and the late Joe Lee Young, the concept of a community garden took root. Raised beds were meticulously crafted, and the garden emerged as a vibrant reality.
The Community Garden transcends its role as a mere meeting point for fraternity members; it stands as a sanctuary for the local community. Thunderbolt residents, who proudly call this place home, actively contribute to the garden's upkeep, vigilantly safeguarding its well-being. In gratitude for their dedication, residents enjoy the bountiful produce cultivated within the garden, all provided to them free of charge. This initiative not only allows the Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity to foster community bonds but also signifies our commitment to ingraining our deep-rooted values within the esteemed community of Savannah and its environs. Through strategic local partnerships and grants, Beta Phi Lambda sustains the provision of essential resources, including supplies, mulch, seeds, and irrigation systems, facilitating the cultivation of diverse crops such as tomatoes, bell peppers, banana peppers, collard greens, turnip greens, okra, sugar cane, and more. Notably, the chapter has recently initiated bi-annual produce giveaways, offering seasonal vegetables to the community. Proceeds generated from events like fish fries, as well as generous donations, contribute to the Beta Phi Lambda Educational Foundation, which, in turn, empowers students in their pursuit of higher education.
Corporate sponsors and community partners are always encouraged to partner with Beta Phi Lambda. Your support will undoubtedly fortify our shared commitment to enhancing the lives of those who call Savannah and its surrounding areas home. Should you wish to support the mission and community engagement efforts of Beta Phi Lambda through the invaluable work conducted at the Charles Henry Chapman Memorial Community Garden, we encourage you to reach out to Brother Wilcher Spikes at email@example.com.