New Iowa City community garden set to open in 2015

Community members harvest carrots
Community members harvest produce at New Pioneer Co-Op’s Earth Source Garden. — photo courtesy of New Pioneer Co-Op.

This summer, Iowa City residents will have a new place to grow fresh produce, plot-by-plot.

A city-sponsored community garden entitled Chadek Green will open at the intersection of Friendship St. and 5th Ave., and should be available for public use this summer, officials say. The property spans 5.2 acres, and once completed will have between 50-75 gardening plots, according to Tammy Neumann, administrative secretary for the Parks and Recreation Department.

Iowa City’s community garden plots cost between $12 and $24, depending on size. Neumann said the public will be able to begin purchasing plots at Weatherby Park and Chadek Green beginning on April 1, though the number of plots that will be available is unknown at this time.

Josh and Amy Busard, who requested the City Council look into expanding gardening opportunities earlier this month, said they enjoy the fresh food and educational opportunities gardening provides for them and their children, as well as the camaraderie with friends and neighbors. Amy thinks the city should diversify the locations of the community gardens to make them more accessible by foot or bike to reduce carbon footprints.

Last year, there were two community gardens in Iowa City. The location at Weatherby Park has 110 plots of land of various sizes and was operated by the City. New Pioneer Co-Op sponsored Earth Source Gardens at the intersection of Rochester and Scott Boulevard. New Pi’s Education & Outreach Coordinator Theresa Carbrey said their sponsorship of the Earth Source Gardens will not continue in 2015 because they no longer have the location secured. New Pi’s community garden was comprised of 6,000 square feet and served over 100 Co-Op owners.

Edit: A previous version of this article stated that the Chadek Green community garden will span 5.2 acres. Little Village regrets this error.

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