Hopes for spring: City approves garden site, volunteers, funds needed

September 2012 Posted in Community, News

By Brenna Wiegand

The Silverton City Council dedicated land for a community garden by unanimous vote on Sept. 10.

The lease agreement allows organizers of the Westfield Park Community Garden to begin developing the spot on land adjoining Silverton Senior Center.

A skate park and dog park are also destined for the site, located on the corner of Westfield Street and Cascade Highway.

This garden and those at Silverton Grange and Church of the Nazarene are under the auspices of Silverton Patchwork Community Gardens.

However, in a separate session that night, Silverton Urban Renewal Agency – consisting of the council members as is customary in Oregon – tabled a grant request from the group, limiting the work that can be carried out before winter.

“There ended up being quite a bit of discussion as to whether the grant was an appropriate use of urban renewal funds,” Patti Harris of Patchwork Community Gardens said after the council meeting.

The proposed URA grant would allocate $19,900 to develop the community garden infrastructure; namely, bringing water in, preparing garden plots and installing deer fencing.

Patchwork Community Garden
To join, contribute to, inquire about or get on
the e-mailing list of Patchwork Community Gardens,
contact Patti Harris at Garden Thyme Nursery:
503-551-1875; gardenthymenursery@live.com;
4177 Cascade Highway NE, Silverton, OR 97381

Patchwork Community Gardens meets the third
Monday of each month, 2 p.m., at Garden Thyme Nursery.
All are welcome.

“Yes, we have the property, but we also have very little in the way of funds at this point,” Harris said.

There have been a few private donations that total around $700, and services or materials have been offered toward the cause.

The land will require grading before raised beds, bins and rain barrels can be installed and the greenhouse donated by Silverton High School can be brought in.

If need be Harris said, the deer fencing can wait until early spring when the first crops are planted.

“I’d like to thank city council for voting to support the project and hope that we can find funding as quickly as possible to allow us to do construction before the ground gets too soft and weather halts construction,” Harris said. “We are still very hopeful for a spring garden.”

Proponents of the community garden, where people can rent a gardening space, say such ventures provide a unique opportunity for people from all walks of life and age groups to come together on common ground.

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