FIRM celebrated amid wonderful Ukrainian singing and prayers at the opening of the first ever Slavic Community Garden September 7, on the corner of 10th Street and Mono Avenues in Southeast Fresno. Pastor Oleksandr Sokolovskyi, Senior Pastor of the House of the Gospel Slavic Baptist Church and FIRM Board member, offered prayers of thanks to God for the unique opportunity for over a dozen Slavic community members to grow both vegetables and hope through the garden. The garden is located across the street from the church.
Elders prepared tall Ukrainian “blessing bread”, and presented it to Board of Supervisors representative Susan Anderson and Fresno County Department of Behavioral Health staff member Karen Markland as a gift at the event. FIRM staff member Andrey Kovalenko continues to oversee the construction of a garden events shelter, which will be decorated with Ukrainian style woodwork and art. Guests enjoyed garden tours and homemade Russian borshct soup and pastries after the presentations.
“It is clear to see how much this garden impacts the Slavic community in our city” said Karen Markland after the event.