March 12, 2010
Across Portland, folks are braving the rain to launch two new community gardens today. This morning Nick celebrated the opening of Portland's 33rd community gardenat Vestal Elementary, in Northeast Portland. Also on hand were Vestal Principal Susan Foxman, Parks Director Zari Santner, a number of Vestal students, and Portland community garden pioneer Leslie Pohl-Kosbau.
Director Santner acknowledged the many community partners whose hard work brought this garden to life, including Don Huld, of PPS; Vestal teacher Chad Honl; Lora Price of Friends of Portland Community Gardens; the Vision Into Action program and AmeriCops volunteer Laura Benjamin; and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association.
This new community garden is Portland's 33rd. Vestal's garden will provide a space for Montavilla neighbors to come together - seniors, families, college students, young kids - in a uniquely personal way.
Vestal joins the many thousands of community gardens nationwide, part of a coast-to-coast movement to reconnect with our food and our communities. The Portland Community Garden program has been a part of the Parks bureau for over 30 years.
As Commissioner-in-Charge of the Parks Bureau, the Community Gardens program is a top priority for Nick. Last Fall, together with Parks, he launched an Oregon Solutions project to figure out how to meet the growing demand for healthy, locally grown food in our community.
Later this afternoon, Madison High School will debut Portland's 34th community garden. Madison Principal Carla Randall and Portland School Board member Ruth Adkins will be on hand to celebrate the opening with Madison students. The plot will serve as both a community garden and an education garden for the school.
Our Climate Action Plansets the goal of 1,000 new plots in Portland by 2010 - together, these two new gardens bring us that much closer to our goal! If you'd like to be a part of the community garden movement in Portland, check out Parks' recently released Community Gardens Toolkit, a resource guide offering everything from how to sign up for a plot in a community garden to tips for growing produce at home to ways to donate food to those in need in our community.
Volunteers are always welcome at Portland Parks & Recreation's Community Garden work parties. Click here for more.
Finally, congratulations to the students of Vestal Elementary, who were sworn in as honorary park rangers this morning by Nick!