In the fall of 2013, Madison South neighbor Ben Cutler decided to put a dream into action. He and neighbor Erin Cornell approached the Park Forest Care Center administration with the idea to transform the site from blackberries and overgrown grass to a productive community garden & gathering place. Neighbors were more than excited, and the Urban Farm Collective model was an exciting option to the care center administration. Co-manager Heather Wild, who has years of experience with community gardens, took on the role of site planning.
Within two months of Park Forest management signing the land share agreement, neighbors have installed the first set of 7 garden beds. Each bed is 4’x15’. By the end of March, there will likely be 7 – 10 more beds with over half of the property still a blank slate for urban gardening. The clearing work was made easier by generous donations from Admirable Landscaping and Lewis Rents. Staff from Admirable donated their time and heavy equipment expertise. They excavated the area for the first phase of beds and hauled in 4 dump truck loads of donated compost. Lewis Rents and Admirable Landscaping picked up the tab on the dump truck. Community volunteers measured, staked, sheet mulched, shoveled, scooped, raked, wheelbarrowed, cooked and delivered lunch, entertained a gaggle of muddy children, transported mulch and cheered the realization of the Beech Street Community Garden.
Neighbors near the site will have another reason to celebrate this May. Two of the nearest intersections will be undergoing neighbor-initiated “intersection repairs” during City Repair’s Village Building Convergence. By that event date, the Beech Street Community Garden should already be serving up some early crops.
Scroll down for progress photos and ways to get involved.
“like” the garden Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/beechstreetgarden .
Location: 8643 NE Beech St
Square Footage: ~10,000
- Benjamin Cutler – Manager – <email@example.com>
- April Adams – Manager
- Kira Johnson
- Justin McCune
- Park Forest Care Center
- Admirable Landscapes
- Lewis Rents
Scene’s from our first Work Party – March 8th, 2014
And the work begins!