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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow WORLD WAR II VICTORY GARDEN



By Dick Mason

Observer Staff Writer

A piece of living World War II

history is being recreated at the Think Link Discovery Museum in La Grande.

A World War II victory garden is being put in at 906 Washington Ave. under the direction of La Grande Boy Scout Drew Kelly.

"I think it is incredible; it fits in perfectly with our mission,'' said Lani Schroeder, a Think Link board member.

Victory gardens were planted during the world wars to ensure an adequate food supply for civilians and troops. The goal of the victory garden project was to produce enough fresh vegetables through the summer for families and their neighbors.

Kelly, a member of Troop 514, is creating the Think Link victory garden as his Eagle project. His mother Lauren Monsen-Kelly will use her son's creation to help teach a gardening class at Think Link.

"We will be using the garden as a classroom,'' Monsen-Kelly said.

It is a classroom in which people will learn about history along with gardening.

"Victory gardens were a way for everyday people at home to help with the war effort,'' Monsen-Kelly said.

By 1944 there were 18 million victory gardens in the United States, she said.

Victory gardens were everywhere, including the White House. Posters printed by the U.S. government urged people to plant victory gardens with slogans such as "Sowing Seeds for Victory,'' and "Food Will Win The War.''

One of the striking features of victory gardens is that they were in unexpected places such as vacant lots, school yards and trailer parks. Think Link's victory garden fittingly is an unconventional place — the center's front yard.

When finished, the garden will include six wooden planters, three paved walkways and an irrigation system. Watermelon, squash and pumpkins, lettuce, carrots, beans and tomatoes are among the fruits and vegetables that will be grown.

Drew Kelly got the idea for the victory garden during a visit with his family to Washington, D.C. There they visited the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Behring Center, which recently put in a victory garden. Kelly's victory

garden is inspired by the


The sophomore at La Grande High School is creating the victory garden with help from his mother and father, Blaine Kelly, and members of Troop 514.

Helping sponsor Kelly's victory garden include Think Link, Miller's Home Center & Lumber, Pendleton Grain Growers, Bronson Lumber, Western Interlock and RD Mac.

Missy Rinker's third-grade class at Greenwood Elementary School is also a major contributor.


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