Volunteers, donations needed to bring relocated community garden to life | SteamboatToday.com

Volunteers, donations needed to bring relocated community garden to life

Routt County CSU Extension Director Todd Hagenbuch works in a Bobcat while volunteer Kelly Bastone (background) and CSU Master Gardener Trigg Gerber (foreground) help clear rocks from the new site of the Steamboat Springs Roots Community Garden.
Suzie Romig/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Organizers have found a new long-term home for the uprooted Steamboat Springs Roots Community Garden, and volunteers and donations are needed to help bring the garden to life by this summer.

With physical efforts just beginning on the site now, the garden at the intersection of Pine Grove Road and Central Park Drive still needs a lot of work.

But with community volunteer help, this summer, the approximately quarter-acre site will include 20 raised garden beds 4-by-8 feet in size available for use by community members, nonprofits and gardeners needing handicap accessible sites. The Routt County CSU Extension office staff currently are accepting names of interested individuals or groups wanting to tend a plot or to volunteer.

“It’s really an opportunity for people to come together and be a community around plants and nourishment and working together,” said volunteer Trigg Gerber, a CSU master gardener.

Community members will have the opportunity to work at the community garden site on the morning of May 18, as part of the United Way Day of Caring, as well as on the afternoon of May 19.

The use of the land, the cost to bring a water line to the edge of the property, and future water bills are being donated by UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, whose employees may garden in one of the plots too, said Eli Nykamp, YVMC director of operations. The former building at the garden site served as various businesses through the years including for pediatric therapy for the hospital.

The former Roots Community Garden in Steamboat was a project of Leadership Steamboat in 2010, but that downtown site off Oak Street is under construction for the new Health and Human Services building.

Community members who would like to learn more can visit the Steamboat Springs Roots Community Garden public group on Facebook. The group page also includes a link to a crowd-sourced fundraising page where donors have already contributed $1,700 toward a $5,000 goal.

The donated funds will be used for a garden shed, wildlife fencing and a water pipe delivery system to bring water to the plots, said lead volunteer organizer Kelly Bastone from Steamboat Springs.

Bastone said the community garden construction is supported by a $10,000 donation from the Moniker Foundation in Colorado Springs, $1,000 from Ski Town USA Morning Rotary Club, and in-kind donations from local businesses such as KP Landscapes and Nature’s Design.

Many of the CSU-trained master gardeners will help at the site and plan to host future educational talks, said Todd Hagenbuch, Routt County CSU Extension director. Organizers plan to have the plots ready for planting by early June. Of the 20 raised planting beds, five will be an accessible height for use by gardeners in wheelchairs and three will be tended through local nonprofit groups.

“We have a lot of community interest and people ready to roll up their sleeves,” Bastone said.

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