Last night at Summit Commons June Daniel presented her plan to create community gardening in Lippitt Park. Also in attendance were eight neighbors, five of which are current SNA board members. It is unfortunate that there was little notice about this meeting, but now that we are in contact with June, we will give advanced notice of these meetings as they get set.
June presented her ideas for the project, including potential locations in the park and the basic format, which would be modeled closely after the Sessions Street community garden of which she is a current member. In essence, the city would bring water to the location, build a fence, and then allow land use rights to the community garden group. The proposed area of the project would be 4,800 square feet. The group would then lease the 10′ x 10′ plots to individuals who would use them to grow vegetables. June said that the details of this arrangement are still in the works, but likely costs could be $100 for the first year and $35 for each additional year thereafter. Members who have a plot in the current year get first right of refusal for a plot next year. She reported that most other community gardens in the city have a waiting list.
Specific locations discussed included:
1. Southeast corner of the park
2. Southwest area where the Open Market is usually held
3. Northern point where the Farmer’s Market is usually held
Locations #2 and 3 above would have those markets moving elsewhere inside the park. Everyone agreed that giving the Farmer’s Market first location choice is essential, as that market brings much enhancement to our neighborhood.
The neighbors present participated in the discussion, suggesting other locations in addition to Lippitt Park for consideration. The group seemed split on whether Lippitt Park was an appropriate location for this type of activity, with perhaps a few more than half of those present thinking that it was not the best location.
Another location discussed was Collier Field, which perhaps has closer access to water and is a less-used location.
This project is something being pursued by June Daniel. For its part, SNA hopes to gauge neighbors’ wants in this area and advocate accordingly. To that end, there will be a survey created, as well as at least two additional public meetings. Access to the survey will be made available on this site, on the SNA e-mail list, and in the next SNA newsletter for people without Internet access. June has agreed to not pursue this project in Lippitt Park if it becomes clear that the neighborhood is against it. It is difficult to get any accurate reading of neighborhood consensus, and the best methods discussed last night were through the survey and public meeting discussion.
So if you have an interest in this issue, please participate in one of those methods, if possible. If you are unable, please do contact someone from SNA (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make your voice heard. Of course, SNA is not the only way to weigh in here; the Parks Department and Mayor’s Office should also be willing to hear your voice on this issue.
The additional public meetings are set for September 26 and October 24 at 6pm. Location will be Summit Commons (99 Hillside Ave).