Glenwood Springs digs its community garden |

Glenwood Springs digs its community garden

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox/Post IndependentKacey Beckler, left, and Jennifer Vanian join a group of fellow volunteers and community service workers to clear the land of sagebrush and debris at the site of the future community garden in Glenwood Springs on Wednesday.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Marilee Rippy is excited to begin work on the Glenwood Community Garden. And she expects local gardeners will be able to start planting there by no later than Memorial Day, May 25.

But before then, there is a lot to be done.

While work on the area has already begun, with crews from the Community Justice Program removing fencing from the property, people should expect to see some significant changes within the next two weeks.

Rippy said that a lot of people have asked her if the garden would be ready this year for planting, and she’s responded by saying, “Well, yeah. That is the plan.”

The Glenwood Community Garden is located just south of the Glenwood Springs Community Center off Wulfsohn Road. It’s a very visible spot, and it’s going to provide another option for people who use the Community Center, Rippy said. Plus it provides parking, which was lacking at the preferred spot behind the Roaring Fork Angler’s Tackle Shop on Grand Avenue and 23rd Street.

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Since City Council approved the community garden in early March, Rippy and a group of citizens have been busy getting all the pieces in line for spring planting. And so far, the garden committee has received a lot of donations in services and materials from locals interested in helping out however they can.

Materials for an 8-foot wildlife fence were donated by the Habitat Partners Program through the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rippy said. Now they are just trying to find some funding to pay for the construction of it.

Rippy said that others helping out include: the Glenwood Springs Rotary; Sopris Engineering, which has donated surveying and engineering work on the site plan; the city of Glenwood, which is expected to put in a water tap and run it across Wulfsohn Road in the beginning of May; and Resource Engineering, which has offered to engineer a water plan on how to water the individual plots. Someone has even donated several cubic yards of good top soil, she said. And she thinks that they’ve got a lead on a tool shed in Grand Junction that may be donated as well, so all the tools can be housed on site.

All of the public support has Rippy very excited about the future of the garden.

“Everything has happened so perfectly,” Rippy said. “We’ve had so much help.”

Rippy indicated that Glenwood Parks and Recreation Director Tom Barnes went out in March and marked out the garden’s exact spot, which Rippy estimated was about 1.5 acres.

There is enough land for about 120 sites, she said. However, they are going to begin slowly, developing between 50-60 10-foot-by-15-foot plots, depending on how much interest they receive.

The garden will be broken into four-plot blocks, and Rippy hopes that each of the blocks will have a master gardener in one of the plots to help with the others who are not as familiar with gardening.

“It’s perfect for people who may want to get a plot with four of their friends who just want to grow all the ingredients to make homemade salsa, or whatever you want to grow, that is up to you,” she said.

Rippy said that they’ve already received 25 applications.

She added that the recent winter weather may have deterred people from thinking about the garden, but she expects that to change with the nicer weather.

“The weather has been bad, and people have been skiing and spring-breaking,” she said. “Also, there is nothing visible over there yet. But once they can see it, I think we will get a lot of interest.”

Applications for plots are available at the Glenwood Branch Library’s vestibule, the Good Health Store, and at the Community Center. They are also holding an on-site meeting at the garden location on Sunday, April 19, at 1 p.m., to inform interested gardeners on the plans and how the community garden is going to work.

Rippy said that even people who are interested but have never had a garden before should come.

“It’s going to be really good,” she said. “I think it’s going to be really good for Glenwood.”

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