Councilmember Valerie Ervin to Open Montgomery’s 1st ‘Community Garden’
Dedication Will Take Place on Saturday, May 16, For 33
Garden Plots at Sligo Overlook Park in Takoma Park
ROCKVILLE, Md., May 12, 2009—Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, whose district includes Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington and Takoma Park, will attend the opening day of Montgomery County’s First Community Garden on Saturday, May 16, at 10 a.m. at Sligo Overlook Park (6410 Orchard Avenue in Takoma Park). Councilmember Ervin will join officials from the City of Takoma Park, the County’s Department of Parks and community members as they plant their first crops.
In November, Councilmember Ervin requested that the Department of Parks consider the creation of a community garden program for Montgomery County. The garden at Sligo Overlook Park in Takoma Park will be the County’s first official community garden. The garden will consist of 33 plots, be completely organic and contain a rain garden constructed by the Friends of Sligo Creek. Water will be provided on-site and new benches, trees and a kiosk with information on gardening and community events will be installed for community use.
“I want to commend the residents of Takoma Park and the Pinecrest community, the Department of Parks, and the Mayor and Council of Takoma Park for their support and vision of this program,” said Councilmember Ervin. “Community gardens have proven to be very successful in communities across the country and region, and I believe that community gardens in Montgomery County will enhance the lives of residents by providing hands-on food production for adults and children.”
Councilmember Ervin said community gardens promote social interactions among neighbors, encourage self-sufficiency, beautify areas and produce nutritious, local food.
“In addition, having options for producing home-grown produce has an economic benefit, because families can reduce their overall food costs,” she said. “Creating a community garden in an urban area will be a way for local government to model good behaviors related to nutrition, recycling, and storm water management.”
Councilmember Ervin said the project has been a collaborative effort.
“I want to thank Royce Hanson, chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Board; Mary Bradford, director of the Parks Department and her staff; David Vismara and Ursula Sukinik for their leadership, interest and willingness to undertake this exciting project,” said Councilmember Ervin.
The Sligo Overlook Park community garden is fully organic. Plots were granted to applicants through a lottery system that gave preference to residents who live within a half-mile of the park. This system was utilized to encourage neighborhood participation.
To learn more about community gardens, contact David Vismara with the Department of Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org.