Wanted: Support for Sugar House Park community garden
Apr 29, 2019 11h27
By Spencer Belnap
Wasatch Community Gardens aims to connect communities with quality food and produce, like the Garden of Wheadon (seen here in a 2018 photo), that was built in Draper. (Courtesy Wasatch Community Gardens)
By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected]
Many of the new apartments and condos rapidly rising in Sugar House feature modern designs and an array of advanced technologies. But, what’s missing for many is the space to grow a garden onsite. That’s where Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG) comes into play.
Since 1989, WCG has served the greater Wasatch Front. Offering various programs around the valley, they aim to connect communities with quality food and produce. They are partnering with Salt Lake County and their Urban Farming program and hope to bring a new community garden to Sugar House. The partnership now has a plan in place to offer around 50 community garden plots at Sugar House Park beginning in 2020.
“We’re in the final stretch of the application and approval process,” Parks for Produce Program Manager Giles Larsen said. “June 15th is the deadline for petition signatures, and we seem to be on track.”
WCG has set up a support petition online at wasatchcommunitygardens.org/sugarhouse. Here, Sugar House residents can add their name as supporting the community garden at the park. They can say whether they would use a plot for themselves or if they’d be willing to help voluntarily. Larsen hopes to have at least 100 people say they would be interested in using a plot themselves.
“Our community gardens tend to be pretty popular,” Larsen said. “It’s a great amenity if you live in an apartment or condo or even if you’re a homeowner with a lot of shade. Sugar House is so dense and getting even more so. We think it’d be good there.”
The plots at Sugar House Park would be 100 square feet, but the overall look and size of the garden is yet to be finalized. Once the plan is approved, WCG will then reach out to the community further asking for design input. They want to make sure the people who will benefit from it the most are helping steer the project.
“I miss my garden in Tucson,” said Sugar House resident Renate Beer. She lives in a senior living community that is to the west of Sugar House Park and regularly walks there. “I used to have a home garden and a community type garden at one point as well. I would love to have my own plot at the park. Helping out could be fun, too.”
The plan is to have the 50 or so garden plots on the east side of the park. There is a wide open green space on the way out, close to the looped road that should offer plenty of sun exposure. With 16 other community gardens in Salt Lake County, they have become valued additions to parks and neighborhoods. Sugar House Park would continue the tradition that WCG and the county have established.
“It puts you in an environment where you can learn things,” Larsen said. “Community gardens really facilitate people connections, volunteer roles, schedule development and a sense of pride. They can also be an adult playground.”