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Grant Funding Helps Complete Westside Community Garden


A community garden at one Auburn park is now up and running thanks to grant funding from the Central New York Community Foundation

Anna Ritter spearheaded the effort to create the Westside Community Garden at Miles/Lepak Park. She told Finger Lakes News Radio that, thanks to a $2,620 Cayuga Community Fund grant, seeds are already sprouting in the garden.

“Now we have ten beds that are planted in and the fence is up and the little seeds are starting to sprout so we’re very excited,” said Ritter.

The funding allowed for the construction of ten 4×8′ beds along with a fence at a portion of Miles/Lepak Park. Money also paid for mulch and other materials.

a 4×8′ garden bed at Westside Community Garden. (Courtesy of Anna Ritter)

Additional funding and support was provided by the Auburn Beautification Commission.

Back in February, City Council gave permission for community gardens to be set up at two parks within the city. The Westside Community Garden would be constructed at Miles/Lepak Park while the second would see Harriet’s Community Garden expand from its location at the Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church into neighboring Calvary Park which the city owns.

At the Westside Community Garden, people can reserve a bed to grow their produce in. Ritter had previously told Finger Lakes News Radio that this allows those who lack space for a garden, such as renters, to have access to fresh vegetables.

“[Community gardens] are the difference between someone having access to fresh vegetables and not having access,” continued Ritter.

All ten beds are currently spoken for; however, Ritter is asking anyone interested in participating in the community garden program to contact her so she can gauge interest and see if the council would let her expand the garden. Ritter can be reached at [email protected].

Along with providing space to cultivate produce, Ritter also plans to use the garden for community outreach. For example, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cayuga County will be at the garden on Saturday at 10:00a to give away seed starters for home gardeners.

More information on the garden can be found on the group’s Facebook page.

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