St. Paul: Summit Hill community garden is in!

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What do you get when you put together kids, adults, compost, laughter, shovels, hard work, sweet snacks and poplar saplings? You get a groundbreaking event!

That’s what happened at the Saturday, May 4th groundbreaking for the new Summit Hill Community Garden at Linwood Park. Even the prediction of a light rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of this crowd. There was much spreading of compost & mulch, sharpening of sapling stakes and weaving poplar saplings into wattle fencing for each of the 50 garden plots.

There was a brief orientation and then – guided by seasoned coordination from Dan Halsey of South Woods Gardens who created the “mandala” garden design – the gardeners and other volunteers from a scout group, Macalester College and neighbors went to work. Volunteers were treated to refreshments donated by Brueggers Bagels, Toppers Pizza, Subway, Mississippi Market and Great Harvest Bread Co. Individual plots and shared garden spaces were created with walking paths covered in mulch separating each garden plot.

It was a GREAT success with so many hard working volunteers & decent weather ~ with so many hands happily digging, we even finished early!

A huge THANKS goes out to all who had a part – large or small – in making this garden a reality. From the first visioning meeting, where we needed all of you to come to say “Let’s do this!” to the final details of implementation – everyone contributed something. And, without each contribution, we would not have a garden today!

On behalf of the Summit Hill neighborhood, my heartfelt thanks to all the Community Garden volunteers and gardeners!

About the Garden

The new Summit Hill Community Garden is located west of the tennis courts along St. Clair Avenue in Linwood Park. At this time, all of the individual and shared plots have been spoken for this growing season. For those who didn’t know about the garden or didn’t get their $50 in on time, we are keeping a waiting list in case one of the gardeners has to drop out due to scheduling or personal issues.

Funding at this time comes from the following sources:

  • $620 from Committee’s Christmas Tree Pickup Project 2012
  • $3100 from SHA General Funds
  • A generous donation of $3849 from Wild Onion on Grand
  • $2500 in garden plot fees for 2013

And we have applied for a large matching grant from the St. Paul STAR Board in hopes that if approved, the Community Garden will be able to move more quickly on permanent fencing and other capital improvements.

As for next year, the Community Garden Steering Committee will be discussing next steps such as exterior fencing for the two mandala circles, as well as how we give current gardeners a chance to keep their plot while finding a way to have some amount of turnover for those who are interested in gardening at this new site. Stay tuned for further information on this and other matters in future issues of the Summit newsletter, SHA E-News or other SHA media. If you are interested in being active in some other SHA Environment Committee project, please contact the SHA office at summithill@visi.com or 222-1222.

Kate Pearce is the SHA Environment Committee Chair.