I sure enjoy having a lush little oasis of flowers and veggies in the middle of a sea of asphalt, where I see my neighbors and catch up on their lives, get to know the local business owners and make new friends, while digging in the dirt, swapping gardening tips and recipes and munching on sugar snap peas. What a great little community! says Marie Flake about the Lacey Crossroads Community Garden.
As community gardeners, we seek to work both independently and together to grow food, learn about gardening, and create community within our garden, says Charles Adler of the Olympia Community Garden.
These are just some of the wonderful things that people who participate in community gardens in Thurston County have to say. Community gardens provide opportunities for neighbors to come together and grow healthy food for themselves and each other, sharing resources and having fun along the way. In Thurston County, we have 11 thriving community gardens that serve approximately 235 households. What is a community garden? A community garden is a space that is open for use by residents of a local community to garden. Thurston County community gardens are in many areas and most still have room for others to join. Contact a community garden in your neighborhood if you are interested in participating:
Capital Vision Community Garden, 1775 Yew Ave. NE, Olympia, 360-791-8778.
Evergreen Community Gardens, 2712 Lewis Road NW, Olympia, email@example.com.
Hale Place Community Garden, 1217 Yew Ave NE, Olympia, 360-705-0862.
Lacey Crossroads Community Garden, 5607 Corporate Center Lane SE, Lacey, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olympia Community Garden, 1401 13th St. SE, Olympia, 360-943-9623.
Rainier High School Community Garden, 308 Second St. W, Rainier, 360-446-2205.
Rochester Community Garden, 10140 Highway 12 SW, Rochester, 360-273-6375.
St. Mark Lutheran Church Community Garden, 2109 College St. SE, Lacey, 360-456-3281. Sunrise Park Community Garden, 505 Bing St. NW, Olympia, 360-570-5857.
Wendell Berry Community Garden, 928 Wilson St. NE, Olympia, email@example.com.
Yauger Park Community Garden, 530 Alta St. SW, Olympia, 360-570-5857.
Dont see a garden in your area? Are you interested in starting one? Thurston County Public Health and Social Services is working on a project to start more community gardens in zip codes 98501 and 98503 with funding from a state Department of Health community transformation grant. The goal is to improve access to fruits and vegetables for residents in those areas. Community gardens should be on land suitable for growing with lots of sun and access to water. They should be open to the public to join and use. For continued success, they should have a group to manage the garden on an ongoing basis.
If you would like to start a community garden in a location in the 98501 or 98503 zip codes, contact ThurstonCommunityGardens@co.thurston.wa.us or call 360-867-2515.
For more information about Thurston County Community Gardens, go to www.ThurstonCommunityGardens.org.
Dr. Diana T. Yu is the Health Officer for Thurston and Mason counties. Reach her at 360-867-2501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.