By Amanda Ensinger
A community garden aimed at bringing more fresh produce to the region will not be offered to residents this summer, the Prairie Township Community Center recently announced. Instead, organizers are considering starting the garden in 2019.
“This is up in the air right now. We are definitely moving forward with creating a garden, but we need to work on a location,” said Michael Pollack, Prairie Township Community Center facility supervisor. “We originally were looking at Evergreen Terrace and Carl Frye Park, but because of zoning and restrictions in the neighborhoods, these locations won’t work.”
Pollack said that both those locations also offered very limited parking, as well as issues with water access.
“Because we haven’t had anything like this before there are issues with zoning, as well as other essential things we need in order to successfully have a garden,” Pollack said. “There were just too many issues with these locations, so we had to go back to the drawing board.”
However, the center is looking at a new location for the community garden at 161 Cole Road on township property.
“There is about 20 acres out there, so we will have the space we need to develop a garden, as well as plenty of parking access,” Pollack said. “Currently, there isn’t access to water, but we are looking at setting up a well and tank.”
The center hopes to keep the garden small at first and then grow the garden as more residents become involved. They plan on selling plots to residents and eventually host classes where they use township plots to teach participants how to grow their own produce.
Pollack said by offering classes that also could offset some of the maintenance costs associated with the garden.
“The next step here will be to decide where we want it to be and take it to the trustees for approval,” Pollack said. “This year, we plan to focus on this, as well as applying for grants related to this and getting supplies together. Then in 2019, we would like to start the garden.”