Franklin County Community Gardens Open to Public
If you’re interested in community gardening, but don’t necessarily want to start one from scratch, then the Franklin County Community Gardens program may be just what you’re looking for. Launched in 2008, the program features two garden areas open for residents to apply to use each season.
“The program came about by Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady meeting with Somali reguees about their issues and challenges,” explained Kate Matheny, Grants Coordinator at Franklin County. “Some expressed that they wanted to be able to grow food, so Commissioner O’Grady turned to staff at the county to find a plot of land for that purpose.”
An 80-acre county-owned plot of land at 1972 Gantz Road near Grove City fit the bill perfectly and the Gantz Road Community Garden was born. Three separate garden areas have been installed over the past five years, and the project is relocating for 2013 to the other side of the property to make room for a new Southwest City Schools building.
A second Franklin County community garden was added Downtown at 50 East Mound Street, not far from the Franklin County Courthouse Complex. Buildings originally located on the site were demolished years ago and the land had been sitting vacant and unused ever since.
“The county decided to set aside that land for a community garden,” said Matheny. “It could still one day be developed, but for now it has gardens.”
The Mound Street garden features raised beds due to the large amount of rubble close to the surface of the ground. Most of the gardeners who utilize the Mound Street garden are Downtown and near-Downtown residents, including many people who live in senior housing buildings located not far from the garden.
Anyone interested in applying for a garden plot at either of the community gardens can find more information online at www.franklincountyohio.gov.
From April 15th to April 21st, Columbus Underground is celebrating Gardening Week! Throughout the week, we’ll be taking a look at various backyard gardening and community gardening trends, efforts, businesses and more. Gardening Week 2013 is sponsored by Scotts Miracle-Gro, who provides support to regional community gardens through grant programs and other philanthropic efforts. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter for more information.