Delano Community Garden moves to drier site

3 spring floods in row drown garden plots

“Weed away,” said Delano Mayor Dale Graunke after the Delano City Council Tuesday, April 16, approved Barb King Inspiration Park as the new site for the Delano Community Garden.

Being able to pull weeds will be good news this year for residents who make use of garden plots in the Community Garden, which theoretically will turn 5-years-old this year.

Dick Nordling of Delano frowns in disappointment at spongy soil in the Delano Community Garden during spring flooding of the Crow River last year. The garden is being moved this year from Delano Central Park to drier land at Barb King Inspiration Park. (Sun staff file photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

Dick Nordling of Delano frowns in disappointment at spongy soil in the Delano Community Garden during spring flooding of the Crow River last year. The garden is being moved this year from Delano Central Park to drier land at Barb King Inspiration Park. (Sun staff file photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

The Community Garden has had only one successful year, its first year, said Public Works Director Ernie Eden. The following three years, garden volunteers did the tilling and laid out the garden plots — only to gaze at sogginess resulting from flooding of the Crow River.

The original location was on the east side of Delano Central Park in the flood plain of the Mighty Crow.

Delano city staff met with garden volunteers and went around town to find a new spot for the Community Garden, Eden said. The group agreed upon the south end of Barb King Park, located on the west side of Delano south of County Road 30.

This year construction on Meadowlark Lane, which forms the eastern boundary of the park, might be an issue for gardeners wanting to access the garden, Eden said. When that happens, they can park on Willow Drive and walk to the garden.

The city of Delano will place an above ground water tank for gardeners in the southwest corner of the park near a stand of trees. A box for tools will be secured to a tree.

“Aesthetically, we won’t have that sticking out in the middle of the park,” Eden said.

When selecting the new site, the city considered the fact that an apartment building is located nearby. People living there are not able to have gardens. Soon families will be able to walk to the park, let children play on the playground equipment and tend to a garden plot.

City Councilor Betsy Stolfa said she liked the new location. “This solves not only the water issue, but also the distance from parking and having to haul your tools,” she said.

She also hoped the location would be sufficiently visible to reduce chances of vandalism.

Information about signing up for the Delano Community Garden is on the city of Delano website at delano.mn.us. Rental fee for a 10-foot by 20-foot garden plot is $15.

Each Delano household is allowed to reserve one garden plot before noon, Friday, May 3, and households can be on the waiting list for additional plots. Garden work day will be Friday, May 17, if weather and soil conditions permit. The target date for opening the garden is Saturday, May 18. Gardens must be planted by June 10.

All gardeners are required to volunteer hours to the garden, including one planning meeting before the growing season, spring preparation and fall clean up of the garden and routine maintenance of common garden space on a rotating basis.

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