Sunday March 23, I attended a meeting for the Angel Fire Community Garden Project. This project, brainchild of Janet Sailor, is in the ground-zero planning stage.
As you can see in the preliminary site plan graphic below, the project will be located on land immediately west of the Cove Arts Center building on Crestview Drive. The property available for the project’s development is roughly seven acres, with plans to use approximately half that area at the beginning of the project. Current plans include 108 raised outdoor garden beds, four underground greenhouses, a compost and storage area, a farmer’s market, large cash-crop tracts, and even a dog park!
Janet has the project efficiently broken down into the first three phases. The timeline for these phases includes activities which will take place between now and September 2014. This well-drawn-out project is being developed to include participation by everyone in the community. Phase One includes all of the basics such as land-use documentation, insurance, securing non-profit status, village permits, establishing committees and fundraising ideas to generate seed money.
The second phase will include leveling, grading, and terracing the property, completing greenhouse plans, and marking off plots for the outdoor garden beds, composting area, cash crop area, and the dog park. In phase two, committees will establish regulations for garden participation and the yearly rental amounts for the garden beds. It will also be a time of active fundraising.
The third phase consists of excavation and construction of one greenhouse and renting the inside beds for winter growing. They will also be installing compost units and securing fencing and other items for the dog park. If all goes as planned, these three beginning phases of this project could be a reality by September!
As the project grows into the future, sponsorships and grants will be sought to defray costs. Until then, however, the materials and work to bring these first three phases of the project to fruition will come primarily in the form of local donations and volunteers. The project will need people with skills in such areas as land-use design, water management, construction, heavy equipment and operators, surveying, and grading. If you have experience in any of these areas, please sign up! As Janet said at the meeting, there are thousands of ways in which people can help, and if lots of individuals help with just one thing, the project will be a success. She has a list of the many committees needed to get this off the ground. Are you willing?
The Angel fire Community Garden Project can become a beneficial addition to the community. You will be able to rent your own garden bed and plant what ever you would like to grow…year round if you rent a bed inside the greenhouse. And Angel Fire has been in need of a dog park for a very long time. Finally a permanent Farmers Market! What a great idea.
Feel free to contact Janet at 575-377-6115 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to volunteer.