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Summit Hill community members trying to establish a $5,000-plus community garden in the neighborhood

A group of community members in St. Paul’s Summit Hill neighborhood are working to bring an idea for a community garden to fruition.

It’s something that the Summit Hill Association (SHA) has been talking about for several years and it’s finally starting to come together, according to Kate Pearce, who chairs the neighborhood group’s environment committee.

“As most community gardens are aiming to do, we want to use more green space for the cultivation of food and to do some community-building at the same time,” she says. “It’s just a more sustainable way of growing food and getting it local.”  

Community gardens are also good for security, with more people out and about who know their neighbors, she says. “It’s something the neighborhood wants and needs.”  

SHA, which has scouted out various locations for the garden, is currently eyeing a site at Linwood Park, between the recreation center and tennis courts, where there’s open lawn space.

Already, SHA has looked into the feasibility of the city-owned site. The biggest challenge will be to create the infrastructure to pipe water into the garden, which will probably cost $5,000, according to Pearce.  

The soil may also need to be tested, while the garden's size and the number of plots are also yet to be determined.

At a Feb. 28 public meeting that the environment committee is hosting, “We’ll get to know how many people are interested in helping to get it going,” she says.

Then, they’ll be able to come up with a rough timeline and a plan for fundraising and applying for grants for the project. At this point, Pearce is unsure what its total cost might be.  

Although the timeline is still unknown, Pearce predicts that the garden could be ready in the spring of 2013.

“We’re assuming there’ll be a high demand,” she says. “We have to figure out how to make it equal-opportunity [so] that it’s fair to everyone.”   

Source: Kate Pearce, environment committee, Summit Hill Association
Writer: Anna Pratt
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