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Auburn to Vote on Allowing Community Gardens at 2 City Parks

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Community gardens could soon come to two Auburn parks.

Auburn City Council will vote Thursday on whether to allow part of Miles/Lepak Park to be used as a community garden.

Organizer Anna Ritter is leading the effort. Speaking with Finger Lakes News Radio, she said, for those who rent or otherwise lack land access for a garden, community gardens offer fresh and nutricous produce.

“They are the difference between somoene having access to fresh vegetables and not having access,” said Ritter.

According to Ritter, the garden would initially consist of ten 4×8′ raised beds with the goal of increasing that number in coming years. Those interested in participating would contact her to reserve a plot which they would then be responsible for maintaining and using.

She added that the possibility exists of also creating plots that would upkept by volunteers with the produce inside free for the taking.

“I enjoy building community… I feel that it is a need in this community that could benefit the community and individuals,” she continued.

Ritter estimates the startup costs for this project would be approximately $3,000. This would cover the costs of the construction of a fence with a gate, the beds, signage, and irragation as well as supplies such as mulch, compost, and tools. She is currently seeking grants and other funding to meet this need. 

If approved by the council, Ritter plans to construct and open the garden in the spring.

Council will also vote on allowing an already established community garden to expand onto city property. The Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church created Harriet’s Community Garden last May on its own property, neighboring Calvary Park. Currently consisting of four 4×10′ beds, the group is asking the city allow it to construct an additional four beds on the Franklin Street side of the park.

A third resolution would allow for the continued use of a quarter-acre of Miles/Lepak Park for permaculture through January 31, 2026.

City Council meets at 5:00p, Thursday, in council chambers.

 

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