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community garden

July 15, 2019 - 3:12pm
posted by Lauren Leone in batavia, community garden, news, Youth Bureau.

The Batavia Community Garden, located at 12 MacArthur Drive next to the Batavia Youth Bureau, is expanding and being reorganized as the Youth Bureau transitions to its new St. Anthony’s at City Church location on Liberty Street.

The Community Garden recently removed its south fence and added a 4,400-square-foot expansion. The extended gardening space allowed for four 4’ x 4’ and four 4’ x 8’ raised beds to be constructed and placed in the garden by volunteers during the United Way Day of Caring in May.

The addition of a 12’ x 16’ wooden pergola is underway and will be completed during the 2020 growing season. The shaded pergola will serve as a community social meeting area within the garden to supplement the existing shaded resting spot.

The Community Garden Advisory Board is also facing changes to its leadership due to vacant positions. These were created when City Manager Martin Moore learned that two volunteer advisory board members, Bob Gray and Carol Boshart, were not city residents as required by a provision in the city charter.

This resulted in the reappointment of those members as non-voting special liaisons to the board. The reassignment caused frustration among board members due to a proposed change to city municipal code that relaxes residency requirements for city employees.

At the June 24 City Council meeting, council members were welcome to a review of the charter in order to reconcile the issue with the advisory board.

“They discussed it and why they had to enforce it. It was a city charter versus a municipal code. But, I’m still here — being a master gardener is a passion,” Bob Gray said.

Gray cofounded the garden in 2011 and served as the former secretary before his Stafford residency caused him to become a non-voting liaison.

“They’ve been very supportive," Gray said of the city, despite his reappointment. "Whenever we need anything, we just shoot them an email and it gets tended to.”

The City of Batavia supports the garden through maintenance work and funding.

Jocelyn Sikorski, Youth Bureau director and Community Garden coordinator, acts as a liaison between the city and the garden. She said that the reorganization of board members has presented some challenges that the board is working to overcome.

“[The special liaisons] were part of the group that started this," Sikorski said. "So, they really are invested and they care about it overall. Those are the people that we want at the table, and I don’t have city residents banging down my door to fill those two vacant spots."

Sikorski recognized that there will be further changes for the Community Garden as the Youth Bureau relocates to its new 114 Liberty St., Batavia, home. The Youth Bureau will continue to collaborate with the garden although the Batavia City School District will occupy its former facility.

“We will probably establish a different type of Youth Garden at St. Anthony’s starting next year," Sikorski said. "We will keep bringing the kids over throughout the end of the summer and into the fall to maintain these beds once we have relocated and close our doors here.”

In the midst of these changes, the garden's community outreach continues. Throughout the season, surplus produce and cut flowers are donated to benefit individuals at Washington Towers and Crossroads House.

“A lot of cities our size don’t have community gardens," Gray said. "This is an asset.”

Photo by Lauren Leone.

May 14, 2018 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in community garden, batavia, news, Gardening, MacArthur Park.

Jacob Rosenbeck, age 7, (also in photo at bottom) and Carolyn Pratt are painting the boards that will replace a number of the beds at the community garden. Jacob has been helping at the Garden and growing vegetables there since age 2.

Submitted photos and press release:

Gardeners and volunteers will be busy this week preparing the Batavia Community Garden for Opening Day. Join us at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 19 at the garden, located in MacArthur Park in the City of Batavia (252B State St.).

There are plenty of beds and you could lease one on the spot. Not only that, there will be several Master Gardeners on hand to assist you with getting started growing your own vegetables. We use the squarefoot gardening method to plan out 4’ x 4’ ($15) and 4’x 8’ ($25) raised beds. The lease fee is for the season and the bed is filled and ready for planting on opening day.

If you want a sneak peek, take a stroll through MacArthur Park. Parking is available adjacent to the youth center. You will notice raspberries growing along the perimeter fence. Our garden shed, courtesy of Batavia Rotary houses all of our tools, books and all natural pest control remedies.

You will see a great deal of activity on Wednesday, May 16, as the garden is a United Way Day of Caring Work Site. Thirteeen of the raised beds will be replaced that day and filled with a quality, all natural growing mix. These new beds will be deeper and allow for more versatility in what can be planted. For example, carrots and beets should do nicely.

Throughout the season surplus produce is donated, in fact one or two beds will be designated exclusively for this purpose. Garden volunteers tend to donation beds and also cultivate cutting flowers for donation. Washington Towers and Crossroads House have been the primary beneficiaries, but this year the advisory board hopes to increase the reach of donations.

For more information contact the City of Batavia Youth Bureau, 12 MacArthur Drive; Phone: 345-6420.

June 4, 2016 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in community garden, batavia, news.

communitygardenjune42016.jpg

Volunteers who help keep the Batavia Community Garden going, located behind the Youth Bureau off of State Street, held an open house this morning.

Pictured are Dave Graney, Louis Leone, Debbie Rosenbeck and Bob Gray.

There are only nine plots left for this growing season. 

Lease prices range from $15 to $25, depending on the size of the plot. 

For more information and an application form, visit the Youth Bureau.

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May 13, 2016 - 3:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, community garden, news, Announcements.

Press release:

An open house is being held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 4th, to showcase the City of Batavia Community Garden.

Make your way to 12 MacArther Drive, just behind the Youth Center and see how the old wading pool has been transformed. The garden is a collaborative effort between Leadership Genesee's Class of 2011, the City Youth Bureau and Cooperative Extension's Master Gardeners.

It is a perfect option if you lack space, or just want a plot ready for planting that comes with expert support. There are plenty of beds still available at $15 for a 4 by 4 or $25 for a 4 by 8 foot plot for the 2016 growing season.

Join us on June 4 or contact the Youth Bureau at 345-6420 for more information, or visit our Facebook page for more information.

May 10, 2014 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Youth Bureau, community garden.

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The Burke family were among the local residents who came out this morning for the community garden open house at the Batavia Youth Bureau. Master Gardener Bob Gray explained how the program worked. The Burkes are Scott, Jennifer, Lilyana and Noah. Denise Young also helped with the open house.

May 5, 2014 - 3:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, community garden.

City residents are invited to an open house at the Community Garden from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, 10 MacAruthur Drive (behind the Batavia Youth Center, the former wading pool).

Residents can meet the garden staff and learn about square-foot gardening, which provides a way for people looking for locally, grown fresh fruits and vegetables to grow their own in a way that is easier than digging up a plot of land.

There are more than two dozen beds available for residents to rent and applications can be obtained by calling the Youth Bureau at (585) 345-6420. Prices range from $15 for a 4'x4' plot up to $35 for the one 4' x 12' plot.

Plants that might be grown include tomato, green peppers, winter squash, eggplant, cucumber, green beans, basil, parsley and beets.

A gardner could wind up with more than 50 pounds of produce out of a 4' x 4' box.

The gardner provides the seeds or sprouts, waters and cares for his or her own box and brings his or her own tools.

Pictured: Master Gardner Bob Gray.

May 1, 2014 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Announcements, community garden.

The City of Batavia Community Garden is hosting an Open House on from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 10, at 10 MacArthur Drive (behind the Batavia Youth Center).

This a great opportunity for City of Batavia residents to view how a vacant wading pool has been made into the new “City of Batavia Community Garden.” Meet with the garden’s staff and learn more about the efficient “Square Foot Gardening Method.”

There will be refreshments and gardening demonstrations.

For questions or more information contact the Youth Bureau at 345-6420.

March 26, 2013 - 10:54am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Youth Bureau, community garden.

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.

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