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Draper Journal

Residents Hoping to Get Community Garden

Sep 29, 2016 02:26PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Residents sign the petition to get a community garden in Draper. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Residents are working with the city and Salt Lake County to get a community garden established in Draper. The potential garden is part of the Parks for Produce community garden program under open space and urban farming in Salt Lake County. 

The selected spot for the garden is 13800 South and approximately 440 East. There would be approximately 3.4 farmable acres. 

“It’s going to be a community garden. People can purchase plots and have their own garden space and they volunteer to help out to maintain an area outside of their garden plot,” Dana Hyer, administrative assistant at the Draper Parks and Recreation Department, said. 

Councilmember Marsha Vawdrey initially proposed the idea of a community garden to the Draper City Council

“There are a lot of people who live in apartments and condos and they don’t have the opportunity to garden,” Vawdrey said. “I think that’s a great opportunity because I think gardening is the number one pastime in the U.S. I think it’s something a lot of people want to do.”

Draper is one of two cities that is applying to Salt Lake County for a community garden. The application process includes finding at least five core garden organizers who will participate in promoting, organizing and implementing the garden before the garden is established. 

“Their role is they donate 30 hours of time so they can help organize it,” Hyer said. “They will coordinate work sites, the layout, the digging of the garden beds, that kind of thing. 

The city also has to submit an application narrative, a community support petition and the names of at least two garden organizers who will complete the Wasatch Community Gardens’ leadership training. 

Draper held an open house on Sept. 14 to not only gather signatures for the community support petition, but also to try to find those interested in being a core garden organizer. 

Hyer said there a multiple ways having a community garden can benefit Draper. 

“I think it will help with the apartment communities and those who can’t have gardens. They’ll be able to go there,” Hyer said. “Schools can buy plots and have their students buy plots or even people who want to teach gardening can get a plot and help teach gardening and responsibility.”

Mayor Troy Walker was in attendance at the open house and gave his support to the efforts. 

“I think it will be a great option for people who don’t have a big yard or don’t have an ability to do it because everyone knows gardening is great therapy, plus the food is awesome,” Walker said. “I think it will be a great opportunity for anyone who wants to do it and it looks like we have a great response.”

The city’s application must be handed in by Dec. 1. After that, the county will evaluate all the applications and will determine who has the bigger need. The winning community will be announced Dec. 15. Training will take place in early 2017 and construction on the garden will take place in spring 2017.