Vail explores community garden idea | VailDaily.com

Vail explores community garden idea

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail wants to know if there’s interest in pursuing a community garden project in the Intermountain neighborhood in West Vail. Potential gardeners are asked to contact Kristen Bertuglia, the town’s environmental sustainability coordinator, if they’re interested in pursuing the project. Bertuglia is prepared to facilitate the renewed effort if the level of community participation is high enough. –

The concept was last explored in 2000 when a proposal to create 25 garden plots on the western portion of Stephens Park, located west of the Kinnikinnick Road bridge at 2470 S. Frontage Road, was withdrawn prior to review by the Planning and Environmental Commission. A community garden on the town-owned property would require a conditional use permit.

The previous proposal had included 4-by-24-foot garden plots, a cedar-sided shed, three on-site compost bins, a 10-space parking lot accessed off Kinnikinnick Road, a connection to the Stephens Park irrigation system water tap and establishment of a volunteer board of directors appointed by the Vail Town Council to manage operations and leasing of the garden.

Renewed interest in a Vail community garden has surfaced recently as a result of Stephens Park neighborhood requests as well as a growing interest in local, sustainable food sources from restaurant owners and residents. This concept, despite a challenging growing season of June 15 to Aug. 15, according to Bertuglia, has been successful in other high altitude communities and is an exciting project to explore for Vail.

“Considering the average American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, there are significant environmental and health benefits to growing our own food as well as educational opportunities,” she said.

In reviewing the previous attempt to create a community garden in Vail, the Town Council has asked the staff to canvass the community to determine the level of current interest and to organize a working group to coordinate the steps that would be needed to launch the project for next season. Interested gardeners are asked to contact Bertuglia at 477-3455 or kbertuglia@vailgov.com.