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Council to Discuss City Community Gardens

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will review first season of Old Town Community Garden and establish water supply to garden and also will consider new community garden location in Calvert Hills.

As a member of the Sustainable Maryland Program, the City created a 3-year action plan that included a goal to establish a community garden. This activity is one of the “primary action items” encouraged of Sustainable Maryland Certified Communities.

In April, 2015, Council authorized staff to establish a community garden on City-owned property near the Old Town Tot Lot (at the corner of Norwich Road and Columbia Avenue) and allocated $15,000 towards construction (Resolution 15-R-03). City staff solicited bids from contractors to install a chain-link fence and coordinated volunteer construction of raised planting beds measuring 4 ft by 10 ft each. City staff organized 8 volunteer “worknights” between May and July, 2015 to construct the garden. These were held on weekday evenings with an average of 6 volunteers participating each time. Work involved building the raised planting beds, filing them with topsoil, and spreading woodchips along the garden walkways.

Plots were made available to all City residents (including part-time residents) for $15 per year. Notification was made via all of the City’s standard information channels. Additionally, several residents simply noticed the garden and contacted the City to sign up. All members were required to sign the City’s Hold Harmless Agreement and to follow rules based on those successfully used at M-NCPPC community gardens. 15 residents joined the garden and 20 plots were rented during the 2015 season (4 members rented multiple plots). Members reported general satisfaction with the garden and its operation; however, there is tremendous interest in getting a water supply.

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