Grants allow Palisade to plot community garden

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel—Sarah Brooks winces as she cuts a section of board for a raised bed that will be part of a community garden in Palisade. Brooks is the recreation and events coordinator for the town of Palisade.

Palisade is known for its summer bounty of edible products, making Sarah Brooks all the more excited for the town’s latest venture.

Thanks to several grants and private donations, including a $500 grant from the Colorado Parks & Recreation Association, the town surrounded by agricultural land plans to offer a community garden this year, said Brooks, the town’s recreation and events coordinator.

The most recent association grant to Palisade — one of 21 state organizations that received money this year — is “intended to help promote and preserve the beauty of Colorado by supporting local community programs,” said John Barnholt, board chairman of the Colorado Parks & Recreation Association Foundation.

The town also received money from the Palisade Sunrise Rotary, Palisade Co-Op and local resident Bud Lofvenborg to get the community garden up and running, Brooks said.

The Town Board is scheduled to decide plot fees during a 7 p.m. meeting May 22 at Palisade Veterans Memorial Center, 120 W. Eighth St., she added.

The Palisade Community Garden will be located on a vacant lot the city owns along West Fourth Street. Plots of various sizes with different fees will be offered.

A vast number of people “don’t anticipate us having a community garden because of all the orchards (and other produce) in the area,” Brooks said.  “But in downtown Palisade, the plots are closer together, and the soil isn’t that great.”

The city has used its grant money to purchase lumber to build raised beds, which it will fill with soil, at least this first year, she added.

The raised beds, which will vary from4 feet by 8 feet to 2.5 feet by 3 feet, will be placed at the site as soon as ongoing railroad construction is completed or the materials are relocated, Brooks said.

The town did not receive notification that it was awarded a Colorado Parks & Recreation Association grant until mid-April, forcing Brooks to push everything forward as fast as possible to take advantage of Palisade’s growing season.

She acknowledged some people may not be interested in a garden this year because it will be late-May before gardens could be planted. However, those interested in leasing a raised bed this year can call Brooks at 464-5602 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The town envisions eventually enclosing the garden with educational beds set aside to help residents learn more about what it takes to successfully grow fruits and vegetables in the area.

“Our main goal is to get the community involved,” Brooks said.


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