Bishopville thief steals materials for community garden

Partners involved in making a community garden are now asking for community donations and support after a thief stole their materials.

BISHOPVILLE, S.C. — The City of Bishopville is recouping after a thief stole $2000 worth of materials from a community garden before it was able to start growing.

On Saturday, Luke Giddings, the Mayor of Bishopville took to Facebook to say, “A big thanks to all those who showed up and wanted to help. Unfortunately, someone decided to cut through the locked fence and steal the metal-raised garden beds, sprinklers, and other supplies that Clemson Extension provided for the community garden. We will revisit this project once we check the cameras and allow the police to complete their investigation. This is disappointing and sad that anyone would steal from a cause such as this. However, if, and when the person behind this is discovered you have my word the law will be pushed to the fullest extent.”

As of Monday, the mayor says Bishopville Police are still investigating and looking at other cameras in the area as well to see where the raised beds could have gone.

The community garden has been a work in progress for more than a year, with nonprofit, Lee County Shared Hope Inc. and Clemson Extension in Lee County coming together to write a grant for the funding. Several community organizations also came together to donate time and resources to the project as well.

Joshua Caughman and his family own Pig Creek Feed & Garden Supply and donated the soil for all of the garden beds. Caughman says the scene on Saturday was upsetting.

“We went to Shared Hope this past Saturday, and we went to look behind the pile of potting soil for the raised bed materials, and there was a hole. At first, I thought maybe the materials got moved inside, so we looked and made some phone calls, but no. It was gone,” Caughman said.

The thief stole sprinklers, hoses, and the metal raised garden beds, that Caughman helped write the grant for. 

Weatherly Thomas who was overseeing the project for the Clemson Extension explained the garden can still be finished but not with the same funding.

“I’m pretty bummed about it because the funding for that project ended in September,” Thomas explained.

Both Caughman, Thomas, and Mayor Giddings say they are confident the Bishopville community will come together to finish growing the garden.

“That parable of ‘faith of a grain of a mustard seed can move mountains’, so let’s plant some seeds of change in downtown Bishopville, with Shared Hope with a community garden and see where this change goes,” Caughman said.

Mayor Giddings says anyone who would like to donate can drop any gardening items off at Bishopville Nazarene Church, or call (803) 486-4155.

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