Man spends hours maintaining community gardens

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A retiree is now spending his days taking care of four community gardens in Highland Heights.

Sidney Johnson said his neighborhood sees too much violence, so he's decided to bring some life back into his community.

"We can do this. We can make things better. It's just a little work!" he said.

Johnson lives in the neighborhood.

"I see these people walking in my neighborhood with clipboards, and I want to know what you're doing in my neighborhood. That's when they told me they're starting a neighborhood association," he said.

Just like that, the retiree got involved.

"I know how to grow stuff, so I knew I can be benefit," said Johnson.

He helped start the gardens along with Judy Conway and her husband.

"You see beauty. You don't see that blighted property that was here," said Conway.

Johnson now volunteers to take care of each garden and spends countless hours to make it special.

"Sometimes you want to have something that makes you feel better. Does it always have to be bad news coming out of our neighborhood? Good stuff happens," he said. "This is where God works. It is!"

Johnson said kids are getting involved too and wanting to learn about the fruits and vegetables.

"They need to see things grow. Not just death and hear about things dying. They need to see life happening too," said Johnson.

The Highland Heights CDC is applying for grant money to help grow the gardens.

They plan to start a fifth one in the near future.