MIDWAY PARK COMMUNITY GARDEN, Des Moines
In the Des Moines Pacific Ridge neighborhood located between I-5 and International Blvd a lovely tree lined park separates two communities. On the south, students attend one set of schools and on the north, another set. Families have little opportunity to interact and the park has been the site of gang and other unwelcome activity. Community activist Alena Rogers decided that a community garden would help unify the neighborhood and she reached out to KCD after receiving a grant from the Port of Seattle Airport Community Ecology Fund and permission from Des Moines Parks to install five raised garden beds.
Rogers’ vision of a true community garden where everyone was welcome to participate and share in the bounty was realized this spring. “Because of the garden, I have met more people from my neighborhood in the last 3 months than I did living here for the last five years!” says Rogers, “Kids came out every evening throughout the summer to talk, taste and care for the garden plants.” The neighborhood has shown a great deal of pride and usage of the garden and plans are underway for an expansion next year that will include individual garden plots.
Midway Park Community Garden is another example of the gardens that came online during the 2018 growing season. KCD was also involved in starting gardens at several apartment complexes and churches in addition to supporting existing food gardens. Next season, KCD hopes to bring food production even closer to home with “milk crate” gardening (watch for details this Spring). By offering implementation and technical assistance, KCD helps make it possible for communities to grow food whenever and where ever possible while stewarding the natural resources that promote a healthy and sustainable food system.