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Arlington maintenance workers Dan Foster, right, and Ben Stieben shovel dirt into one of the garden beds that will be part of the new Arlington community garden on March 6.

 

Arlington’s old community garden location will soon be closed, however the city and other local organizations are coming together to open a new garden this spring.

The former garden was located near the Arlington Library on a piece of property that was owned by the city.

“We had planned to move the garden this year because the city is going to sell that property,” said Sarah Lopez, community revitalization project manager for Arlington.

“We wanted to do it in the winter time,” so the gardening wasn’t affected by the move, she said.

City maintenance workers have been constructing garden boxes and putting them at their new location with help from the Arlington School District, which provided the space at 315 N. French Ave., Arlington, next to their administration building and Presidents Elementary.

“It’s going really smoothly,” said Lopez, who added they hope to finish the project in the spring so local gardeners can use the location.

City workers have put in water lines, constructed garden boxes and filled them with soil donated from the Gayteway Business Park currently under construction.

A chain link fence around the garden is planned to be installed later as well, said Lopez.

“I’m very excited and glad that the city is working so fast to get this ready for the spring,” said Beth Countryman, the volunteer coordinator for the community garden.

Community gardens help bring local residents together, she said.

“You can grow your own produce while meeting with your neighbors that you might otherwise never get to talk to,” said Countryman.

“Anytime you have a community garden it just brings together a diverse group of individuals, young and old,” she said.

They also are a benefit to gardeners who can’t afford a big yard.

“With back yards getting smaller a lot of people don’t have the space, so this just gives them a place where they can get into the dirt,” said Countryman.

Lopez said there were many residents who enjoyed the former garden.

“We’ve had a community garden for years and we know the community appreciates having that space to grow plants and food if they don’t have the space in their own yard,” she said.

Countryman said they are happy they were able to find a new location that will make an even bigger community garden than before.

“Since it’s a much bigger area, that is a lot more potential for more gardening options,” she said.

Lopez and Countryman have been working on the design and how the garden will fit within other organizations as well.

Currently they have 42 garden beds planned for community members, and some for other groups as well.

“We will have a few different areas of the community garden,” said Countryman.

That includes an area set aside to grow food for the Arlington Community Food Bank.

Another space will be reserved for students from the Arlington School District.

“There will be a space for the school, and we’re still working on how that will play out exactly,” said Countryman.

“We’ve met with the school district about what the teachers want and what their programs will look like,” said Lopez.

Science, botany and other types of lessons could be done with help from the garden, said Lopez.

Some of the food grown by the schools may go to the Arlington Community Food Bank as well.

Countryman isn’t sure if there will be vacant spots available yet or not, but she has a waiting list for the garden.

“Unfortunately we’re not yet at the point where I can place people, so I don’t know if there will be vacant spots left,” she said.

If you are interested in a spot on the waiting list for the garden you can call Beth Countryman at 360-435-2991.

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