St. Pauls Patch Community Garden
Seeks to embrace all that enter its nurturing environs,
Believes that every individual has time, talent, and treasure to share,
Is a sanctuary from the division and oppression of the world,
Grows unity as well as vegetables, empathy as well as flowers,
Is committed to listening to one another and respecting the opinions of all,
And decisions will be based on consensus of all and respect for each other.
Join us in growing a kinder community.
The lot at West 45th Street and Wales Court, just south of Franklin Boulevard, has been a community garden for the most part of the last 20 years. In 2002 to 2004, an active group of residents had created a childrens garden that included many arts activities. After months of engaging the youth of the neighborhood and enriching the surrounding community, this group was told in the Spring of 2004 that they could no longer use the land. Due to circumstances beyond the gardeners control they had to relocate or cease gardening. Some gardeners did relocate their community garden and created the West 47th Street garden, a picturesque garden only 2 blocks from here. Unfortunately, some gardeners were discouraged by the sudden loss of their plots and no longer participate in community gardening.
In July 2006, Councilman Joe Cimperman approached St. Pauls Community Church about restarting the garden. St. Pauls was very interested in seeing this lot put back to use as a garden. The neighbors were tired of looking at two years of overgrowth. Also, the lot had a long history as a community garden. Even with such a late start, the community pulled together to put in a respectable garden. Donations were located for vegetable, fruit, and flower plants. Seeds were provided by the Summer Sprout Program, through the OSU Extension Service. Gardeners included transient individuals, homeowners, renters, and a youth group.
In 2007, a new zoning ordinance was created to protect community gardens. Councilman Cimperman was instrumental in the orchestration of a policy that would make public the use of community garden land and any changes that may occur. This policy would prevent what happened in 2004 when the gardeners lost their land and had no voice in the process. The Urban Garden District zoning allows a public forum for the creation, and loss, of a community garden zoned as such. It is an invaluable first step toward making community gardens permanent fixtures in a vibrant city landscape.
During the 2008 growing season, we invited more gardeners to join us, repaired the fence surrounding the lot, planted food on the outside of the fence for members of the community, leveled and mulched the gathering area, added artistic touches, and produced a fabulous harvest.
In 2009, through the receipt of a Neighborhood Connections grant, 20 fruit trees and 40 berry bushes were planted on the perimeter of the garden. These valuable additions will be seasonal treats looked forward to by gardeners and neighbors alike. We look forward to the fruits of our labor continuing to ripen in 2010.