LAKE HIGHLANDS COMMUNITY GARDEN
The Lake Highlands Community Garden will become a reality by this spring, thanks to the tireless efforts of our City Councilman, Jerry Allen, Robin Norcross of the Lake Highlands Area Improvement Association, Laura Fiffick, Meghna Tare and Bob Curry, all with the City of Dallas.
The garden is located on City owned property behind the old armory building located near the intersection of Goforth and White Rock Trail with funding provided through a grant obtained from the Scott’s Miracle-Gro’s organic products division. The grant includes cash and products from the Miracle-Gro organic line.
The City has been working on a schedule to start working on the garden which has been hampered by our recent weather. The plan now is that the City will do a shallow tilling of the land so that the gardeners and volunteers can rake off the existing carpet of Bermuda grass. After we have removed the grass and put it into our compost piles, the City will do a deeper tilling; we will assemble our beds, install our irrigation system, put compost in the bed areas, build our fence and then fill the pathways with wood chips. The wood chips in the pathways along with our compost piles will provide us compost for next year.
Initially, the thought was that we would use our funding on compost and reduce the total cost to the City by each gardener providing their own materials for their raised beds. Since the Miracle-Gro grant includes products, which include compost, I have proposed to the City that we use the money formerly designated for compost to buy materials for raised beds.
We will probably be pushing a very tight timeline for having the garden ready to plant for the summer crops. It seems that as soon as the funding for the garden was secured and all the City departments were coordinated in moving forward, the rain, sleet and snow started. We are all going to need to dedicate some volunteer time within the next few weekends to getting the garden going on time. As part of the Earth Day celebration, we will have twenty-five volunteers for Saturday, April 12th, from J.P. Morgan-Chase. If we are running behind, this will be a great opportunity to catch up. As the schedule is firmed up with the City, I will send emails to the gardeners seeking volunteers to help in preparing the garden.
Since our organizational meeting, the garden has been expanded to thirty-one plots from twenty-nine. Even after the expansion, we have six more families on the waiting list. It is apparent from all of your responses that community gardening is going to be very successful in Lake Highlands. Even with thirty-one plots, our garden cannot accommodate all of the people who would like to garden. By the time people can actually see the garden taking shape, we will have even more families that would like to garden. By then, we will have more than enough families that want a plot to start a second community garden in Lake Highlands. We just need to find a location.