- Associated Press - Thursday, June 11, 2020

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana church is building a park and garden as part of a plan to open a community center that will provide opportunities for residents and encourage community involvement.

Youth and adult members of Anderson First Church of the Nazarene have been working on creating the tire park this past week, The Herald Bulletin reported. The park is scheduled for completion at the end of the week, but the community garden isn’t expected to open for a few more weeks.

“We’re trying to build up friendship with our neighbors and build that sense of community,” said Nick Chad, youth pastor. “This is the first big project we’re doing that will have a long-lasting effect.”

The $1.3 million facility will be built onto the existing church building. The church hopes to have it finished by the end of the year.

“It was a joint idea. We’ve been working with a church in Fort Wayne that has a community center there,” Chad some of the concept for the tire park. “They helped us along. We’re modeling our tire park after one they have.”



Josh Crawford, who is volunteering at the church, took a week off from work.

“I’m doing whatever I can to help,” Crawford said. “Use some of my expertise with landscaping and get the job done.”

Shameel Clervrain, a 16-year-old member of the church, helped paint 75 tires on Monday and returned to the park site on Tuesday.

“I think it’s really cool for (the) community,” Clervrain said. “That we came together and showed it doesn’t take adults to get things done. Children can work together and get things done.

Janet Knotts, who has been a member of the church for almost 60 years, was thrilled to see kids involved in the project. She says she loves what the church is doing.

“We’re embedded right here and I see we have to do something in our community,” Knotts said. “I’m so excited to have God in our community.”

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