According to a recent story from The Coloradoan, the 113.5 million people who garden every year in the U.S. are all mourning the end of the 2015 growing season. Among them are members of the Fort Collins gardening community, who are eagerly awaiting the next gardening season since they’ll have more places to plant. An open house is being held by city officials this week to continue the Community Gardens in Parks program that began in 2013.
The initial gardens were built in Rogers, English Ranch, Edora, and Buckingham parks, as well as at the Senior Center and the Gardens on Spring Creek. The project faced some backlash when neighbors of the English Ranch garden expressed their displeasure about losing the space in the park where children could play. Though they fought hard to have the garden removed, supporters of the community project managed to delay the verdict and worked to find a compromise.
In accordance with the neighborhood wishes, the garden was instead moved to the west side of the park.
The garden, which is around 3,700 square feet, was built on a raised bed to protect it from excess water during storms. The garden was then surrounded with fencing, decorative fixtures, and a tool shed, so it would be a beautiful addition to the park.
While moving the garden and rebuilding it cost the city around $40,000, that kind of funding won’t be available for all of the future gardens.
Mary Miller, the outreach coordinator for the program, said that “English Ranch is the exception. And that is part of the lessons learned in creating a pilot program and the issues to be aware of when moving forward with the application process.”
Future garden locations include Rolland Moore Park, Spring Canyon Park, Cottonwood Glen Park, Golden Meadows Park, and Leisure Park.