Garden project promotes unity in the community

A groundbreaking will be held Aug. 4 for the Silverdale Community Garden Project and organizers are hoping the effort will benefit the community in multiple ways.

The project has been an ongoing effort for local community groups, including the Central Kitsap High School Environmental Club and the Clear Creek Trail Taskforce.

Michael Davis, project manager for the community garden, said the effort began during the 2011-2012 school year and will consist of 25 raised garden plots in which participating gardeners will be able to grow produce they can use or donate to local food banks.

A compost bin will be available on site to add to the organic nature of the project, Davis said.

Davis said the benefits to the community will be multifold with the project designed to instill a greater sense of community service and pride in the area, assist in educational efforts by the environmental club and others on sustainability practices and simply help community members meet their food needs.

“Our then president Marilyn Prosser and I, along with a group of fellow club members and volunteers, have been working since the start of the school year to make these goals possible,” Davis said.

Davis said the project is indebted to the efforts of multiple organizations and businesses in the area including Lowes Home Improvement in Silverdale, which Davis said donated the majority of the materials for the project.

Nancy Kellogg, Human Resources Director for the Silverdale Lowes, said she was approached by Davis about the project and said the idea was one the business felt they could support.

“We were looking for a project for our Lowes’ Heroes Program,” she said. “And we chose this one because it aligned with what we do through the program.”

Kellogg said Lowes would supply volunteers and materials for the project in ongoing efforts to serve the community.

“We do this because we get so much from the community and we feel it is important to give something back,” she said.

Tex Lewis, spokesman for the Clear Creek Trail Task Force, said the project fit in with task force objectives. He said a shed on the property would be converted to a pavilion and a picnic area would also be added to the project.

“We always thought we were going to build the pavilion at some point and we thought the community could also have access to the garden and get closer to the earth,” he said.

Lewis said the project was also indebted to many others in the community such as Bob Allpress, who mowed the heavily overgrown site, and Craig Luthie of Luthie Grading Service who graded the plot, both at no cost.

Marilyn Prosser, past President of the Central Kitsap High School Environmental Club, said she hoped the community would take advantage of the opportunities the garden offered.

“I think this garden is an amazing thing for our community because it will promote healthy eating practices and will help new gardeners learn from experienced gardeners, and it will also just promote unity in the community,” she said.

Volunteers are still needed for the project and Davis said once the project was completed community members would be welcome to contribute to the garden.

Groundbreaking for the project will be held at 8 a.m. Aug. 4 at the Markwick Public Property located across the street from the Silverdale Dog Park. A small ceremony will be held to thank all who assisted in the creation of the garden before work begins.


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