Lush green plants with flowers and vegetables are flourishing in the community garden at Buchanan Park.
Gardener expertise, soil enhancements and recent rains provided by Mother Nature have brought once-bare earth to vibrant life at the one-third acre site.
“It’s a veritable jungle,” said Rachel Emmer, coordinator of the project sponsored by Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability.
Emmer was at the hub of both a social and work gathering for the gardeners, who were chatting and tending their plots last Wednesday evening.
Shovel in hand, Julia Gordon was busy digging up weeds around her plot while youngsters Julie and Adeline Thompson were checking out weedy intruders at a neighboring plot.
“This is so cool to see it all come together,” said Emmer. “I can’t believe how well everything is doing.”
For the past several years, Emmer has been spearheading the effort to bring the community garden to fruition. After working with the Evergreen Park and Recreation District on the plan and gaining the board’s approval, Emmer and others involved in the project prepared the soil and started planting in early June.
There are 44 plots in the garden including 21 full plots that are 10 by 16 feet and 23 half-plots that are 5 by 16 feet.
Six plots are allocated to community organizations and programs, Emmer noted, including Evergreen Christian Outreach, Evergreen Rotary and Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen. EPRD’s Special Needs Program and the Evergreen High School Diverse Learners Program each has a half-plot.
Compost from A1 Organics was used to help the soil grow the lush new greenery, plus a compost pile has been started on-site. Primary components of that compost are alpaca manure, spent brewery grains and grape pressings.
“EAS+Y's two master composters, Margaret Rode and Terry Walters, have led our composting journey,” she said.
Emmer also expressed her appreciation to Evergreen architect Judy O’Brien and engineer Oliver Rice, who donated their time to design a gardening shed and pavilion for the community garden.
Evergreen resident Dave Lystrom has worked with other EAS+Y volunteers to build the shed and is looking forward to creating the pavilion. Lystrom said he is seeking donated materials for the pavilion and needs various sizes of lumber, weathered wood, three windows and composite shingles.
Lystrom said he is also seeking a volunteer framer and someone to pour concrete, which has been donated.
Those who want to donate time and materials to the project may contact EAS+Y at email@example.com or call 303-670-6385.
Contact Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-0142.