EAS+Y, Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability, is leading the effort to create a community garden here in Evergreen, turning a former refuse storage site into a beautiful, useful space everyone can use and take pride in. The garden will:
- Give Evergreen residents a place to grow fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers for their families in their own garden plot
- Provide an elk- and deer-protected fenced space
- Be centrally located in a beautiful, convenient public area near trails and the recreation center
- Renovate a portion of a historic Evergreen homestead, and partner with local organizations to create a vibrant, valuable community asset.
- Be built with little to no taxpayer funding required!
Evergreen Park and Recreation District has approved the creation of a community garden in Buchanan Park, in a very small plot near the ball fields and Buchanan Recreation Center. With this garden, Evergreen will join our neighbor communities such as Genesee, Idaho Springs, Kittredge, and 18,000+ other communities across the U.S., offering residents a place to grow that’s protected from wildlife and doesn’t violate HOA constraints on fencing or gardens….and will be a beautiful space to grow, or just to stroll by and admire the handiwork of our neighbors and friends.
Funding Grants Received from Great Outdoors Colorado, Colorado Home and Garden Show Inc., and Rotary Club of Evergreen
Read this exciting article published in The Denver Post’s YourHub announcing over $55,000 in grants received from these organizations for the development of the garden:
Overview of the community garden project
This presentation, adapted from one given to EPRD in 2012, gives a great little overview of the project. Click the “four-arrow” icon in the lower right to see it full-sized (and just hit your ESC key to return to this page):
View the site plan created for us by Denver Urban Gardens:
Frequently asked questions about the proposed garden
Why do we need a community garden?
This pilot garden will be a beautiful new amenity for Evergreen residents who are interested in growing fresh food, herbs, and flowers for themselves and for their families. It would provide a safe, fenced area to garden to those whose HOAs may not allow fences, sheds, and certain kinds of plants. In our health-conscious community, the garden will be a gathering place where residents can not only garden, but also learn about proven, successful growing techniques in our high-altitude climate. With it, Evergreen’s garden will join 18,000 other community gardens across the country, including local neighbors Idaho Springs, Kittredge, Mt. Vernon, and Genesee.
Where will the garden be located?
The garden will be located at the Fahnenstiel homestead in Buchanan Park, not far from the Buchanan Park Recreation Center and ballfields. It will take up only 1/3rd acre of the Park’s 66 acres (less than 1/3rd of a baseball diamond) and will be situated between the two old farm sheds that drivers/walkers see from Bergen Parkway.
Why was this location chosen?
The pilot garden will be the most successful when placed in an area where people already play, socialize and associate with physical activity. This site also has great garden characteristics (excellent sun and soil, and available water) and is located on the historic Fahnenstiel homestead site. It would be close to schools, retirement communities, HOAs (most with covenants requiring architectural review of fencing and prohibitions on sheds), and Buchanan Park Rec Center, a mecca for physical activity and connection.
What will this cost us? How much will my taxes go up?
EAS+Y is not asking for any direct taxpayer dollars from Evergreen Parks and Rec District (EPRD). Funding of the site construction will be almost exclusively from private donations and fundraising efforts. EPRD has been asked for the following:
- A 5-year Cooperative Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding (to be able to use the land)
- Extension of Evergreen Metro District’s 50% discount to EPRD on water tap fees
- Collaboration to renovate sheds on historic homestead site
How many trees will need to be cut down, or how else will the site be altered for the garden?
At this point, we do not see the need to remove any trees. The main work on the site will be the removal of tons of construction trash that is currently stored at the site, and which has been an eyesore for local residents and park visitors alike for some time.
An 8-foot fence is planned. We have placed a high priority on the aesthetics of the garden and envision a beautiful site incorporating design principles to mitigate the visual impact of the necessary deer and elk fencing. There are a number of fencing materials which are nearly invisible from a distance and when used in conjunction with other design elements create a natural, pleasing aesthetic that will fit the Park perfectly.
What kind of impact will it have on the surrounding neighborhoods?
Several legitimate concerns have been expressed by local residents, and we are doing our best to address each of them:
Traffic: The garden will utilize existing parking areas accessible via the driveway to EPRD’s Administration and Maintenance Facilities. With the exception of scheduled work days, a typical garden of this size would see 4-5 folks (maximum) working their plots at any given time. Additionally, because of central nature of this location, the garden would be an easy walk and bike for many of the neighborhood gardeners.
Visual Impact: It’s important to EAS+Y that the garden be a visual treat, not an eyesore. The garden plan includes a berm with native shrubs and flowers on its east side (the side facing the Trails at Hiwan and surrounding neighborhoods). The fencing scheme will be as visually unobtrusive as possible, and a very clear set of garden guidelines will be in place to avoid the site becoming cluttered and unsightly.
History and intended use: The proposed garden site was at one time a part of the historic Fahnenstiel homestead. Aside from the garden’s many benefits to the community, we see it as a way to partner with EPRD to preserve and renovate a portion of this historic property.