Reprinted courtesy of The Park Record
Discussions are underway about community garden in the Snyderville Basin
Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff
Posted: 01/07/2011 04:17:53 PM MST
One of the newest missions of Summit County Sustainability Coordinator Ashley Koehler is to help create a community garden in the Snyderville Basin.
In her spare time Koehler collaborated recently with her neighbors to start a community garden at her condominium complex in Pinebrook. She admits gardening in the mountains can be a challenge.
“It makes you feel more successful when you can have tomatoes at 7,000 feet,” Koehler said.
Starting this spring, county officials would like to host the Summit Community Gardens at the former Miss Billie’s Kids Kampus across State Road 224 from Canyons. Those hoping to grow their own food may join a discussion this week about creating one of the first community gardens in Summit County.
“Nothing is really set in stone yet because we just want to gauge from the community what they want out of a community garden,” Koehler said. “There are a few garden clubs in the Park City area and there is a definite interest out there of people with similar passions and hobbies wanting to get together and talk about gardening.”
Open houses are scheduled in Park City and the Snyderville Basin Jan. 12 and 13. The Jan. 12 meeting is scheduled at the Park City Library and Education Center from 7 to 9 p.m. The Jan. 13 meeting is scheduled at the Kimball Junction Library Building from 1 to 3 p.m.
“We really want to get the public’s input on what their expectations are for a community garden,” Koehler said. “We’re just kind of getting a feel from the community about other areas for garden sites. We hope we get the community members out there because I would be interested to know what else is out there. Maybe somebody comes to the meeting and says, ‘I have this great piece of property that I would like to host a community garden on.’”
The garden could allow those without yards to grow produce on a small piece of land.
“Typically, there is a fee for the plot. It really ensures that people are going to be committed to managing their crops and it’s not just going to waste or going to weeds,” Koehler explained. “It’s pretty standard and it’s not very expensive.”
The land that housed the Kids Kampus preschool was purchased by Summit County to preserve as open space.
“This site is great for a garden. It’s centrally located and it’s flat,” Koehler said. “We don’t want to preclude our open space properties from agricultural uses being allowed on them.”
County officials are open to discussions about leasing the property to a group that would manage the facility.
“They want to see that there is a committed group out there — an entity that could care for the garden,” Koehler said.
“As a sustainable community, Summit County considers the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, by integrating and balancing environmental, economic, and social values.”