Mark Your Calendars - Spokane's Third Annual Community Garden Tour
Saturday, Sept 18 Offers Public Chance to Tour 11 Community Gardens
Sept 13, 2010 – Community gardens are blooming throughout Spokane and the third annual Garden Tour is your chance to see firsthand how the gardens are providing fresh produce, while at the same time improving neighborhoods. Eleven gardens will be on display this year, all of which are creating a sense of community and connection to the environment.
Sponsored by Washington State University Extension and the Spokane Regional Health District’s Physical Activity and Nutrition program, the no-cost tour will be held on Sept. 18, 2010, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome to walk, bike or drive to any or all of the gardens. You can obtain a map of the gardens on tour by going to srhd.org/gardentour or by calling (509) 477-2173.
The gardens are as unique as the groups that are running them. Many of the gardens, including the featured garden, are supported by neighborhood groups, a corporate group, a school district, a church or a community restaurant. Each garden will have representatives available to talk about how their garden runs.
Spokane is part of the nationwide movement of people wanting more fresh local foods and community gardens are one way to get them. Community gardens also create a social community where gardening knowledge is easily and frequently exchanged. The gardens also support a healthy lifestyle by providing the gardeners and families with more fresh produce and ways to be more physically active.
Spokane’s third annual Garden Tour will feature:
Northeast Community Center Garden - Corner of E. Liberty and N. Lacey, Hillyard Spokane’s longest running community garden. Wonderful large beds of vegetables and flowers grown mostly by members of the Slavic community. Lots of ideas for extending the season and getting the most out of a raised bed.
All Saints Lutheran Church – 314 South Spruce Street Neighborhood garden in Browne’s Addition that grew out of the church’s desire to get rid of lawn and the neighborhood’s need for garden space.
Hemlock and Fairview – Corner of N. Hemlock and W. Fairview One of Spokane’s oldest gardens that draws a wide range of gardeners including families and community groups like Women’s Hearth. It is located on the grounds of the Transitional Living Center.
East Central Community Garden – S. Ray and E. Hartson This is the second year for the garden located at the Spokane Water Department pumping station. This garden uses in-ground beds rather than raised beds. One gardener is using the Three Sisters’ method of growing corn, beans and squash.
Pumphouse Community Garden – E. Hoffman and N. Crestline, Hillyard This garden is the second of three located on Spokane Water Department land and serves the northeast Spokane area. The gardeners partner with a church across the street for meeting space. There are several very experienced growers in this group that are sharing their knowledge with new gardeners.
Commons Community Garden – Corner of E. Lamont and 33rd, South Hill
This garden is a partnership between the Cannon Hill and Manito Neighborhood Councils, and the Spokane Water Department. This garden is a good example of making use of a small space. Teamwork played an important role in building the garden. A dedicated group of volunteers raised money with a garage sale and repurposed materials from an old garden nearby.
Avista Community Garden – 1631 E. North Crescent Ave. This garden is run by employees and retirees of Avista with all the produce going to the Women’s and Children’s Restaurant. The Avista folks share their space with residents of the Riverview retirement community nearby.
One World Café – Corner of E. 1st and S. Pittsburg This garden supports the organic menu at the One World Restaurant in Spokane’s International District. The garden uses a unique growing box system for smaller crops that put the beds at a comfortable working height for the gardener.
East Valley School Farm and Community Garden – Corner of E. Wellesley and N. Sullivan Rd, Spokane Valley The farm is located on a multi-acre tract of agricultural land owned by the district. It is a partnership between the East Valley School District and community partners to provide students an opportunity to learn how food is grown, eat it in their cafeterias and provides a living laboratory for class projects. The space is also open to community members to use as a community garden.
Pumpkin Patch – Corner of E. Maringo and Argonne, Millwood
Anyone who has lived in the Spokane Valley for a long time and driven up Argonne will remember the pumpkin patch that grew on the north side of the Argonne Bridge. Members of the Millwood community led by Craig Goodwin and Inland Paper Company have revived the tradition as both a pumpkin patch and a community garden. Ending its first season, it has provided a great way to build the Millwood community.
Riverfront Farms – 2605 W. Boone, West Central This urban farm project, run by Jobs Not Jails, trains youth during the summer in green job skills to plan and grow vegetables on urban lots and then market them to low-income residents in the area. They also learn yard care skills and offer those services to low income seniors in the West Central neighborhood.
For more information, please contact Pat Munts, Garden Tour coordinator, (509) 998-9769 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found at www.srhd.org. The site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.