With spring in the air, more than a few Goldenites are pushing to have a public garden in town that could have numerous benefits for citizens of this community, including improving Golden’s food security.
The garden is still very much in the planning stages and could look any number of different ways should it eventually come to life. Potential ideas include a volunteer system where individuals are assigned a specific section of land and are responsible for growth on their own plot. Vegetables could then be shared amongst the community and food donations could be made to a variety of causes.
Another idea that could run in conjunction with a community garden would be a sort of backyard sharing program, where individuals could garden someone’s backyard who is unable to do so themselves.
Among the advocates who are getting the ball rolling are Bob Finnie of the Rotary Club of Golden and Donna Attewell of Wildsight.
“What we’re trying to do now is to find as many partners as we can and to establish a society to look after a public garden,” Finnie said.
Finnie has presented his ideas to Rotary and a garden could work into their improvement and expansion plans for the Rotary trails. Finnie, who grew up in the Rosemont borough of Montreal, says a public garden would have benefits that go beyond food production and aesthetics. In Rosemont, the garden was located in fields under the hydro lines and was a community gathering place for locals.
“I’d rather see one central area because that creates more of a community focus point…it brings people together,” Finnie said.
As opposed to gardening in backyards, a community garden could create a social atmosphere that would involve the exchange of both help and ideas.
Attewell has seen community gardens work in other towns and was tasked by Wildsight to explore Golden’s options for one of its own.
“The conversations that I’ve been involved in have been about drawing people together to figure out what would meet the community needs from a food security perspective,” Attewell said. “We’re still doing some research on different models that different communities have engaged in.”
Attewell and Finnie are scheduled to meet with Town staff this week to further the discussion and they both hope to see something develop this year.