How to Move a Community Garden
Euclid’s Memorial Park Community Garden (MPCG) has to move to make room for the new jail construction. What a shock after three years of turning a grass plot behind the city jail into a third acre filled with thriving garden beds. However, you can’t keep a good garden down; with a promise of the city’s help, an experienced leadership team, and a crew of determined gardeners we are moving it all – within a one month deadline.
The MPCG came to life in 2010 with the help motivated residents, the city of Euclid, and a grant from the Ohio State University Extension Service. The garden’s leadership team worked for months preparing the site. The garden opened in the spring of 2011 and since has grown to 40 individual beds, each with great soil. There are also two handicap accessible beds, two Euclid Hunger Center beds, a ten-foot-by-ten-foot shed, six compost bins with 50 yards of compost, flowerbeds, blueberries, and our sign. Gardeners must relocate all this across Milton Avenue to the new location, between the tennis courts and the volleyball courts.
To prepare for the move, the leadership committee developed a moving plan and a garden design. City workers are using the plan to level the area and move garden soil from existing beds to the newly designated plots. Gardeners and helpers are moving their raised bed frames and any crops and plants. The city provided access to water and will soon move the heavy items. The plan is working; piece by piece, plant by plant, and plot by plot, the new MPCG is coming to life. Gardeners can plant crops as soon as their new spot is set. We should be mostly moved and growing by early June.
The MPCG mission is to provide a peaceful place for residents to garden, for hunger outreach, and for education on the value of sustainable gardening. In addition to donating more than 300 pounds of vegetables a year to the Euclid Hunger Center, we held a demonstration on how to grow vegetables in containers for their clients. Many young people work and learn in the garden. Several youth from Open Doors Academy built and planted the hunger center beds last June. This year, we sponsored an essay contest for the eighth graders at Central Middle School. The winner of the “What is the value of community gardening?” essay won a 10-hour summer job at the garden paying a total of $75. Some of our education efforts include an exhibit at the East 200th Street Stroll and the Euclid Wind Festival. Visitors can stop by the booth for gardening information and activities.
MPCG’s success is due to our dedicated gardeners, friends, volunteers and supporters. Many thanks go to Mayor Bill Cervenik, city leaders and workers for their help and support. Contact Lori Zupancic, MPCG garden leader at (216) 374-7499 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information, or to donate or volunteer. To see our monthly gardening newsletters and more information go to http://www.cityofeuclid.com/residents/EuclidMemorialParkCommunityGarden or visit the MPCG Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/120909041281966/. Memorial Park Community Garden will be in Euclid for years to come – bigger and better than ever. See you in the garden!
Communications Coordinator, Memorial Park Community Garden, Euclid, Ohio