Posts Tagged ‘Sugar Creek’

Community gardens can be a stimulus for recreation, community building, and environmental improvement in our city.  In the past year we have added 2 new gardens on city-owned property, and we felt that it might be a good time to check in with them and share some updates.

Sugar Creek Garden

Location: Floodplain behind Oakhurst Presbyterian Church at East Lake Drive and Second Avenue (map
Website: http://oakhurstgarden.org/3/sugar-creek-garden/
Primary Contact: Lindsey Mann, info@sustenancedesign.net

What’s New at Sugar Creek?

Sugar Creek Garden broke ground just over 1 year ago in April 2010.  Mayor Floyd (pictured to the left), attended the event along with several City Commissioners and City staff to plant some seedlings.  The garden is located on floodplain property owned by City of Decatur and is operated under the non-profit umbrella of the Oakhurst Community Garden.  The project coordinator, Lindsey Mann worked with City of Decatur staff over a period of multiple years to realize her vision of creating an organic garden, tended by the community and aimed at production.

In June 2010, the garden met one of it’s goals by creating access to a sustainable water source.  With the installation of a 1,700 gallon cistern installed by the Rain Harvest Company, the garden is now harvesting water from nearby residents’ sump pumps.  “Sump pumps on third avenue residences work just about year-round to pipe groundwater from a high water table in peoples’ basements into nearby Sugar Creek.”  The cistern acts as a catchment, placed between the sump pipe and the creek, and another small cistern adjacent to the large tank is pressurized at the action of  hand pump, creating water pressure for the garden’s use. Read more about it HERE.

Sugar Creek garden extends their thanks to the City of Decatur’s Gerry Knotts, David Junger and the annual Beer Festival Grant Committee for making this possible.  Thanks also to Paul Morgan of the Rain Harvest Company for the technical experience and  professional execution.



Tanyard Community Garden

Location: Floodplain behind Northern Avenue and Oakland Street
Primary Contact: Walter Kellar, waltk2@msn.com


What’s New at Tanyard Community Garden?

What isn’t new would be a better question to ask in this case.  This tenacious garden group led by Walter Kellar and Leonard Thibadeau have organized themselves in a manner which can only be described as impressive.  Upon visiting the location this week, I learned that since their receiving their approval in late March 2011, the group has created 23 well-tended plots, organized several stream clean ups, and even planted some communal plants like blueberries.

The Tanyard Community Garden was the first garden approved under the City of Decatur’s Community Garden Guidelines.  These guidelines were developed based on the lessons learned during the Sugar Creek Garden planning process, with the goal of streamlining the process for future proposals.  Because the land is located in a floodplain, special care had to be dedicated to mitigating any potential negative effects of disturbing the soil in that area.  Among other requirements, the group must use erosion control fabric on all beds and also allow the area 25 feet from the edge of the stream to grow to a more natural state.  The natural buffer will help to filter pollutants before they reach the water, and has already protected the garden plots during large rain events.

The accomplishments of just a few months work can be seen in the photographs below.  We can’t wait to see what this group has in store for the coming years.

Tanyard Community Garden (Before)

Tanyard Community Garden today. Note the natural stream buffer in the left of the picture.

Tanyard Community Garden plot.

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