Foothills Organic Gardeners Presentation:
Please enjoy these slides from the presentation given to local gardeners on March 14, 2014 at the Evergreen Fire Rescue Building. This was part of Foothills Organic Gardeners’ annual seed share and workshop, where approximately 50 gardeners braved the March chill to come out and start planning their 2014 season.
EAS+Y, Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability, led 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:
- gives Evergreen residents a place to grow fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers for their families in their own garden plot
- provides an elk- and deer-protected fenced space
- is centrally located in a beautiful, convenient public area near trails and the recreation center
- renovates a portion of a historic Evergreen homestead, and partners with local organizations to create a vibrant, valuable community asset.
- was built with little to no taxpayer funding required!
In 2013, Evergreen Park & Recreation District 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 joins 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 is a beautiful space to grow, or just to stroll by and admire the handiwork of our neighbors and friends.
The garden is located just west of Bergen Parkway, approximately 1/4 mile north of the Buchanan Recreation Center.
Plot sizes in this all-organic garden include smaller 5′ x 16′ beds, larger 10′ x 16′ beds, and 5′ x 16′ raised beds. As of March 2015, all plots are full for the 2015 growing season, but a wait list is maintained. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the wait list for a plot.
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 Buchanan Park 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 garden
Why do we need a community garden?
This garden is a beautiful new amenity for Evergreen residents who are interested in growing fresh food, herbs, and flowers for themselves and for their families. It provides 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 is 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 Buchanan garden joins 18,000 other community gardens across the country, including local neighbors Idaho Springs, Kittredge, Mt. Vernon, and Genesee.
Where is the garden located?
The garden is located at the Fahnenstiel homestead in Buchanan Park, not far from the Buchanan Park Recreation Center and ballfields. It takes up only 1/3rd acre of the Park’s 66 acres (less than 1/3rd of a baseball diamond) and is situated between the two old farm sheds that drivers/walkers see from Bergen Parkway.
Why was this location chosen?
The Buchanan garden is successful because it was 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 is close to schools, retirement communities, HOAs (most with covenants requiring architectural review of fencing and prohibitions on sheds), and Buchanan Park Recreation Center, a mecca for physical activity and connection.
What did this cost us? How much did my taxes go up?
EAS+Y did not ask for any direct taxpayer dollars from Evergreen Parks & Recreation District (EPRD). Funding of the site construction was almost exclusively from private donations and fundraising efforts. EPRD had 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 were needed to be cut down, or how else was the site be altered for the garden?
We did not see the need to remove any trees. The main work on the site was the removal of tons of construction trash that was stored at the site, and which has been an eyesore for local residents and park visitors alike for some time.
How were the deer and elk out of the garden plots? Was a big ugly fence necessary?
An 8-foot fence was installed. We placed a high priority on the aesthetics of the garden and envisioned 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 does it have on the surrounding neighborhoods?
Several legitimate concerns were expressed by local residents, and we are did our best to address each of them:
Traffic: The garden utilizes existing parking areas accessible via the driveway to EPRD’s Administration and Maintenance Facilities. With the exception of scheduled work days, this garden sees 4-5 folks (maximum) working their plots at any given time. Additionally, because of central nature of this location, the garden is an easy walk and bike for many of the neighborhood gardeners.
Visual Impact: It’s important to EAS+Y that the garden remains a visual treat, not an eyesore. The garden 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 is as visually unobtrusive as possible, and a very clear set of garden guidelines is in place to avoid the site becoming cluttered and unsightly.
History and intended use: The Buchanan 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.