Confluence Park community garden is ready for applications

March 11, 2014

By Peter Clark

NEW — 6 a.m. March 11, 2014

Residents can grow their gardens in Issaquah’s newest park.

The city’s first attempt at managing a community garden has begun with 31 new vegetable beds in Confluence Park.

Offering 27 raised cedar beds and four Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible plots, the city welcomes citizens to apply to organically grow flowers and vegetables for this inaugural season, April 1 to Oct. 13. Cost is $75 per season.

“During the public input process, there were many requests for amenities in the park, but one resounding amenity that rose to the top was the creation of a community garden area, where local residents would have the opportunity to rent space in order to grow their own food and flowers,” Parks & Recreation Department Director Anne McGill said. “The community garden area was included in the master site plan proposal, which received final approval from City Council.”

People can now apply through the city’s website to maintain one bed, though residents will have the upper hand.

“It’s almost at completion right now,” City Community Center Office Manager Milissa Morgan said about the beds’ construction. “We’ll have application priority to our citizens, then we’ll look to the Issaquah School District, and then we’ll look for others, like those who wish to cultivate gardens close to work.”

After only three days, the city had received 15 applications.

Gardeners who get a spot can renew the lease on their beds for up to three years. After three years, they will go to the bottom of the wait list.

“We figured if it’s going to be a community garden, then everyone in the community should be able to take part at some point,” Morgan said.

She said the community garden marks the city’s first attempt at managing a pea patch and exemplifies how the department aims to engage residents through park space as central Issaquah continues to grow.

“It’s a unique project for us,” Morgan said. “To start this now is an example of the city’s proactiveness as the area begins to redevelop. Parks really become a high commodity.”

Department officials said the only thing the project needs now is better weather.

“Now, if it would only stop raining and a little bit of sunshine would appear,” McGill said, “we’re ready to welcome veggies, fruits and flowers as they take root in the new Issaquah community garden.”

Find applications and more information here or call 837-3315.

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