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City hosts March 26 meeting on community garden management

Posted: March 20, 2013 4:53:46 PM PDT

Community members are invited to a meeting to gather information and provide feedback on the future of the City's community garden program. The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mar. 26 at the Bloedel Donovan Park Community Building, located at 2214 Electric Avenue in Bellingham.

The City of Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department oversees three community gardens with a total of 195 garden plots. Users rent individual plots, while the City provides program management, hoses and water. The City is considering shifting management of the City's three community gardens to user groups or other non-City organizations. The meeting will be a forum for the City to provide information and discuss with current gardeners and other interested groups better ways to manage the gardens. Examples of other community garden management models will be provided and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions, share concerns and give suggestions.

Parks and Recreation Department director James King said he is exploring other ways to manage community gardens.

"We have seen some very successful community gardens result from allowing other organizations take the lead in managing them," King said. "Management by users who can devote the necessary time, attention and passion for the gardens can lead to a more successful program, including beautiful, productive gardens and more satisfying experiences for the gardeners who are involved."

King points to the Cordata community garden, which is self-managed by its gardeners, as one such success. He said he will describe this model and several others at the Mar. 26 meeting.

For more information about the Mar. 26 public meeting, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 360-778-7000.

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Media Contact:
James King, Director
Parks and Recreation Department
360-778-7000 or jking@cob.org

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