Everything is still in the planning stages, but yesterday I got the word from Mayor Athas’ office that the residents of Coomer Creek Neighborhood (and any other Garland citizen who wishes to join with us in this effort) have been given the OK to use some of the land on the flood plain located north of Naaman School Road where it junctions with Brand as a place for a Community Garden..
I already have four neighbors who have responded to my request for those who are interested in working on this project with me to call me. I hope to be able to schedule a meeting at my home next week to begin the planning stage. Few things are as exciting to me as a group of people with a common goal for good. Here is how I have preliminarily outlined our plan of action: The following information is just a way to organize and establish a point for discussion. Nothing is set in stone at this point. Of course, with the input and creativity of other people, I’m sure this plan will be altered and added to after our first meeting.
PLANNING STAGE: (Estimated time is 2 to 21/2 months)
Some of the expected outcomes of this stage include the following:
- Decisions include
- Determine if we are to establish ourselves as a nonprofit group–if so, complete all necessary legal work.
- Determine how/where water supply will be provided. I think there is already city water as well as electricity on this site but we need to discuss our use of it with city officials.)
- Determine electrical needs. (We also want to explore the installation of solar powered sources of energy.)
- Determine needs for fencing (We will need to secure rain barrels for public safety if we use them as our water source and we may wish to secure some gardening tools for community use.)
- Determine all the elements of our Community Garden (For example: garden plots, perhaps a few park benches and tables, water storage, electricity (perhaps), parking, etc. perhaps a covered area (carport like pavilion about two car garage size where gardening classes could be held with folding chairs)
- Determine size(s) and number of garden plots (Assignment of garden plots might be done annually on a lottery basis and awarded to people who live in Coomer Creek area). Perhaps we could have four reserved for use by local food banks and all of us could tend them.
- Research and determine sources for funding. (Part of this research includes visiting the Dallas Peace Garden and talking with people who established this garden. Another great source is the Rising Harvest Farms Community Garden, located in Independence Ohio.
- In addition to the traditional soil method of growing food, I would also like to see at least one aquaponic installation on this site as well.
- Another great opportunity for teaching people more about food sources is the ready availability of found food in our community. For example, the site of our community garden is also the site of a grove of five huge pecan trees (whose native pecans are going to waste) as well as a large bamboo grove. I would like to use some of the bamboo for our plant stakes and also some of the leaves for tea leaves that perhaps we could offer to sell to visitors to help support the garden.
- I would also like to have a small house built on this property if possible. (Eventually I would like to see little clusters of homes like this built in various places in Garland. They would share a common green. No they are not for every one, but for many single people and even couples, they are an ideal alternative for affordable housing AND they are pretty. Having one in our community garden would be a great way to introduce folks to this idea) We can get plans for the following home and build it.
- The HarbingerEstimated material Costs: $26,000 for 310 sq feet
This small home features a bump-out on the front that can be used as a sitting area or a sleeping area. It is large enough to fit a Queen size bed. There are 2 versions of this home: one measuring 310 square feet, and a 2nd version with an additional downstairs bedroom totaling 404 square feet. The plans come with an option for a full loft over the great room, kitchen and bathroom, or a 1/2 loft with a cathedral ceiling over the great room. The house is 16′ 7″ tall
The final result of the planning stage is a complete plan with drawings, staged time table and dates for development, and a blueprint that we would submit to the city officials for their approval.
Of course, once the size, design and elements are all determined, we would then determine the needed funds and propose methods for obtaining these funds.
IMPLEMENTATION STAGE (This would begin once funding is in place for all necessary elements to complete stage one of the plan.)
The steps for implementation would proceed according to the plan that is developed during the planning stage.
THE BEAUTIFUL PROPOSED SITE FOR THE COOMER CREEK COMMUNITY GARDEN
Below is a photograph I took this morning standing at the back of the site near the bamboo grove. To the left is east. The home you see is across the street (facing Naaman School Road).
The photo below is again from the back, but looking west.