Community garden project at Youth Bureau expanding this spring
With the approval Monday of the 2013-14 city budget comes some support for a community garden at the Youth Bureau off State Street.
The plan for this year is to create 25 raised garden beds of 4x4 to 4x12 feet for community members to rent and use to grow fruits and vegetables.
Jocelyn Sikorski, youth bureau director (photo), gave a short presentation to the City Council on the project near the end of Monday's meeting.
"We're really optimistic that we will fill this community garden this year and sell out all 25 beds," Sikorski said.
The project was actually started in the Spring of 2011 by former Youth Bureau director Deb Kerr-Rosenbeck after she realized that many of the youth served by the agency weren't eating enough fruits and vegetables at home.
With one raised bed, Kerr-Rosenbeck, with the help of the children at the bureau, planted a garden and vegetables. Some of the children had never eaten certain kinds of produce before; what was grown became part of the meals served by the agency.
When Leadership Genesee caught wind of the project, some members teamed up to help build four more raised beds in the Spring of 2012.
This year, the plan is to transform the long-unused wading pond behind the Youth Bureau building into a spot for 25 raised beds.
City residents will be able to rent a bed for $15 to $35 for the season, Sikorski said.
"Our long-term goal is to have more community gardens around the city," Sikorski said.
The city portion of the funding for the project is less than $1,000, with donations coming from members of the community.
Constructions of the beds will be part of the Day of Caring on May 8.
This is a great idea. It cost almost nothing to the taxpayer, gives the kids at the youth center a project and citizens who do not have anywhere to grow a garden a place to do so.