In 2002 the desire for safe playground equipment at Little Beach Park led to the development of the playground and amphitheater there. Other programs followed - neighbors in need projects, free concert series, movies in the park - and many more events. And now the Minturn Community Fund (MCF), a 501(c) 3 non-profit, whose mission is to bring people together, connect them to the services they need, foster the development of resident organizations and grassroots groups, and grow volunteer leadership, has begun work on a community garden in Minturn.
In partnership with the town of Minturn and Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, the community garden is designed not only for organic gardening, but will include an open area for family picnics and a gathering place for educational outreach. The plan also includes a compost and recycling area, planting bench and children's garden.
"Neighborhoods are stronger when people feel a sense of belonging in their community," said Jodi Jahrling, executive director of the Minturn Community Fund. "Healthy people have friends and family they can rely on and they know where to turn for support when they need it. These informal connections and networks can make all the difference in a community. Continuing to nurture the Minturn sense of community and getting people to participate in our events and outreach are critical steps in knowing who needs help and how they need help."
The town of Minturn offered an open lot located in the middle of town that has access to water, parking, and according to the plan, can hold more than 30 plots if needed. Community members Patty Bidez, Jean Flaherty and Juli Babcock agreed to lead in the creation of the Minturn Community Garden group and Bidez wasted no time in creating a beautiful and accessible design plan. Additional help has come from generous donations from First Bank, Vail Ace Hardware and Home Depot so far.
Minturn Community Garden plots are available for $20 for a 4-foot-by-4-foot plot or $30 for a 4-foot-by-8-foot plot. Minturn residents and Minturn employees get priority on plots, but the garden is open to all on a first come, first served basis. Applications are available online at www.minturncommunityfund.org or call 970-306-6553 for more information. The garden will be built on May 19 starting at 8 a.m. Minturn is taking the lead from surrounding community gardens and plans to start the season June 1 and run through Oct. 15. All are welcome to help.
"All of these efforts are made possible because of community members," Jahrling said. "The Minturn Community Fund helps support the project by organizing events and finding sponsors, but the community is how it comes to fruition."