In the spring of 2016, Sitka’s main community garden, Blatchley Community Garden was closed. Since then, Sitka hasn’t had a true community garden. But that soon might change.
Joel Hanson, who is part of the community sustainability group Transition Sitka and recently joined the board of the Sitka Local Foods Network, has been working on a proposal to create two community gardens. Both are about half an acre with 50 or more 10-foot-by-20-foot garden plots each, and located on city property. One is located off Osprey Street, next to the Vilandre baseball field next to Blatchley Middle School. The other is located near the top of Jarvis Street, near where the Sitka Homeless Coalition is building a new tiny house community for the unhoused.
More details, including maps, are included in the two linked handouts at the bottom of this story.
“Community gardens plant the seeds for a solution to community food security,” Hanson said. “They create a sense of place and cooperative engagement. They promote health, advance equity, encourage inclusion and foster resiliency. They are for people of all ages.”
“Rebuilding a community garden in Sitka has been a major need as far as food security in the years since Blatchley Community Garden was closed,” Sitka Local Foods Network president Charles Bingham said. “We have a lot of people in town who want to grow their own food, but they live in an apartment or on a boat and don’t have the space to garden. This gives them a place to grow their own produce. When Blatchley Community Garden was closed, all of the spaces were being used and there was a waiting list. This proposal fills that need and allows space for expansion.”
Over the past few months, Hanson has been meeting with city officials and committees/commissions, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, and other organizations to develop the proposal linked below. These community gardens still need approval before they can be developed. Once approved, we will need to raise money for supplies, recruit volunteers or hire workers to develop the land (which may involve cutting trees and leveling off soil), and more.
If you are interested in volunteering, helping raise money to build the gardens, having a plot in one of the gardens, or just staying in touch with what’s happening, please click this link and complete the short survey, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SitkaGardens. For more details, contact Joel Hanson at 907-747-9834 or email email@example.com.
• Sitka community gardens project prospectus (with maps of both locations)
You must be logged in to post a comment.