Settlers Park will be swarming with activity this Spring, as the Parks and Recreation Department prepares to open Southbury’s first ever Community Garden.
After months of planning and several presentations, the Friends of Southbury Community Garden got the go-ahead from First Selectman Ed Edelson and his board, along with the Parks and Recreation commission, to break ground on the quarter-acre parcel located in the Settlers Park complex. The group now has its sights set on an official opening date of May 5.
Modeled after Heritage Village’s River Garden, the Southbury Community Garden will offer all town residents the opportunity to purchase their own 10’ x 10’ plot within the fenced area for an annual administration fee of $25.
While Southbury’s Public Works Department will oversee the general maintenance of the garden, each plot-owner will be responsible for preparing, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting and maintaining their individual plots, according to the community group.
The garden project is in cooperation with Pomperaug Health District’s two-year grant initiative, known as ACHIEVE, or Action Communities for Health Innovation, and Environmental Change. The ACHIEVE committee is comprised of local leaders, including town officials, Heritage Village Civic Association representatives, board of education members, non-profit partners, and a group of community volunteers led by Sharon Martovich.
Gardeners will be asked to donate a portion of their fruits and vegetables to local charities, such as the Southbury Food Bank. Donations to supplement funding for the garden are also being sought. Most donations will come to ACHIEVE from the CT State Department of Health and the CT Cancer Partnership.
“We’ve seen tremendous support so far for this project,” said Health Department Spokesperson Robin Lucas. “From town officials to business owners, and everyone in between, the community has really pulled together to make this project a reality.”
At this point, the Garden will house 49 individual plots, which will be available on a first-come-first-served basis through the Parks and Recreation Department. There is room for expansion in the coming years, if demand exceeds supply, according to Lucas.
Each plot-owner will be supplied wood and stakes through allocated grant money. The singular cost for residents is a $25 administration fee, which will be handled through the Parks and Recreation office.
Interested residents are encouraged to contact the Pomperaug Health District at (203) 264-9616.