In Its 2nd Year, Expanded Rochester Community Garden Thrives

From tomatoes and zucchini to brilliant sunflowers, the garden is becoming a gathering place for families.

First, the garden itself grew larger.

And now, after the hot sun and recent rains of July, the flowers and fruits and vegetables are growing, too.

It's the second year for the Rochester Community Garden, an effort launched in 2011 by Rochester's City Beautiful Commission and . 

Last year, the garden debuted with 42 plots; this year, it increased to nearly 100.

In addition, a new , allows for educational programs that focus on gardening and plants.

The Community Garden was designed for area residents without a garden-suitable lawn to grow food for themselves. Many gardeners also donate to local food banks. Applications are taken in early spring for a plot inside the locked garden.

“Our gardeners are meeting new people, helping each other care for their plots, learning new things and enjoying the physical activity and healthier eating habits that accompany gardening activities” said Sue Neal, Executive Director of Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve.

“The added benefit of involving children in the garden care is a huge plus for families.

"You’d be amazed at how eager the kids are to help carry water, weed in the garden and even eat veggies they would normally refuse to consider”.

The garden has drawn attention to the previously underutilized and little-known , located off Woodward Street.

“For most gardeners, this is the first time they even knew this park existed” said Bill Bohlen, Director of Parks and Public Works for the City of Rochester.

While all the plots for the garden this year are full there are still ways to become involved. Dinosaur Hill runs programs in the Children’s Garden, and volunteers can assist in the care and maintenance of the garden.

To watch the garden's progress, visit the newly launched Rochester Community Garden Facebook page.

Want to obtain a plot in next year’s garden? Call Dinosaur Hill at (248) 656-0999 or send an email to garden@dinosaurhill.org.

Edward A. Byrnes July 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
In my plot at the community garden I'm growing Kentucky Blue pole beans, two types of cucumber, Brandywine and Early Girl tomatoes, bokchoy, bib lettuce, onions, kale, dill, and cilantro. I have a tall bamboo structure in the middle of the gardens for the pole beans and cucumbers. ~Ed
Kristin Bull July 23, 2012 at 12:26 PM
This is the second year for my garden plot. I'm growing lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, basil and attempting to grow a watermelon! I'm amazed when I walk through the garden to see the creativity and attention everyone has put into their plots!
anne powder August 02, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Do you have to build your own raised bed? What amenities exist to help the gardener please?


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