City staff and volunteers have irrigation faucets in place, wooden stakes set to mark off the plots and walkways are covered with crushed rock as a …
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City staff and volunteers have irrigation faucets in place,
wooden stakes set to mark off the plots and walkways are covered
with crushed rock as a once grassy area is now transformed into
Englewood’s community garden.
“The garden area is taking shape and the timing is good because
our first gardener work day is May 1, so gardeners can edge their
plots plus help construct a pair of raised gardens for our
handicapped residents,” said Joe Sack, Malley Senior Recreation
Center supervisor, who also is helping coordinate establishing the
community garden. “Gardeners can begin working their plots and
planting their crops the week of May 3 and we’ll have a dedication
ceremony May 15.”
The land for the community garden is located east of the
Englewood Depot and across the street from Cushing Park at West
Dartmouth Street and South Fox Street.
City crews removed the sod, plowed the land and marked off the
plots. They also put in the pipes and set up the irrigation
Work continued April 16 when a group of four volunteers
transformed the pile of crushed rock into the surface for the paths
between the plots.
Lisa Bult directed the effort while doing her share of shovel
“I am with Denver Urban Gardens and have two volunteers with me
to help put in the paths,” she said. “We got started and Englewood
resident Joe Fleenor came up to pitch in and help so things are
moving along quite well.”
Denver Urban Gardens is a 25-year-old organization focused on
helping establish community gardens. Englewood enlisted the
assistance of the organization in planning and setting up the
community garden, marking the 100th garden Denver Urban Gardens has
Bult and Denver Urban Garden intern Adrian Hagan worked along
side Fleenor and DUG volunteer Maguni Darme.
Darme said she signed up as a volunteer because she likes
“I am in the country three months from my home in France. I
volunteer to work in the gardens to get outside and get exercise,”
she said. “It is fun and I have found it is a good way to meet
people and to help me speak better English plus help set up gardens
for people to grow their own vegetables.”
The project brings the community garden back to Englewood.
The city had a community garden from 1998 located just west of
South Santa Fe Drive near the Englewood Golf Course. There was
interest early but, the soil wasn’t the greatest and access was
difficult so eventually participation fell off dramatically and, in
2004, the program was discontinued.
But the desire to have a community garden didn’t go away and,
last year, the discussion began to re-establish an area for a
The discussion led to a joint effort by the Cultural Arts
Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission, Keep Englewood
Beautiful Commission and the Denver Urban Gardens to make it
Councilmember Jill Wilson helped spearhead the effort, and the
city council agreed to assign land to the project.
The area was designed to accommodate 22 garden plots that were
each 12 feet square. There was also the provision to cut a plot in
half so another gardener would have a place to raise produce.
Plots were assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. All
plots were assigned and several were split in half so currently 30
gardeners have plots assigned.
“We originally planned to assign 20 plots and keep two plots to
raise produce for community food banks,” Sacks said. “However,
because of demand, we assigned all the plots to our gardeners.
However, there were a couple areas marked off to plant perennial
flowers but, at least this year, we will use those areas for our
community garden plots.”
Each gardener pays a plot fee of $25 to cover materials and the
water used during the growing season. They also plus pay a $25
deposit that is refunded when the remaining vegetation is removed
and the plot cleaned. As part of the project, those who garden the
plots agree to put in 15 volunteer hours a year to help maintain
the garden area.
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