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Green Coalition plants community garden seed

April 15, 2011

Green Coalition Chair Joan Birnie and Parks Board member Joe Shea walk the area at Indian Hills looking at what could be, Broken Bow’s Community Garden.

Calling all gardeners. Gather your hoes, your seeds, and give Green Coalition Chairperson Joan Birnie a call.
The city is setting aside a little land to use as a Com-munity Garden, and the Green Coalition is gathering names of those who are interested.
The idea for the garden was generated when the Coalition heard that the Broken Bow Parks Board was looking to reduce the number of parks in Broken Bow.
“The Park Board is looking to better utilize, and or reduce the amount of ground it takes care of, explained Park Board Member Joe Shea, noting that just getting rid of park area is not necessarily the goal, because once a community loses a green area, it never gets it back.
The City Council was approached by the Green Coalition about creating a Community Garden when the ball fields were moved from South Fifth and from Indian Hills to Melham Park.
The Council, said at Monday’s meeting that a section of Indian Hills might be a great location.
A rough draft of bylaws is being developed. There will be a small fee to participate. The suggested amount at this time is $25.
Participants (families, organizations, individuals, etc.) will each be assigned a plot of ground to plant on and take care of. The size will depend on the space the city provides and the number of individuals participating. Birnie and Shea said the organization is looking at having 10x12 foot plots.There is water available and the area will be fenced.
The hope is that a Garden Club will be formed from those participating in the Community Garden and that this club will develop some bylaws of their own. The Garden Club will come under the umbrella of the Green Coalition.
There will be a few rules such as:
* Each participant will have something planted in the garden by a certain date and keep it planted all summer.
* Participants will agree to grow only legal, non-poisonous and non-aggressive plants.
* Participants will comply with all federal and state laws regarding the use of pesticides and chemicals.
* Each participant will maintain a neat plot and keep the surrounding area free from overgrown weeds, insect pests and diseases.
* There will be a no pets rule, and participants will be asked to supervise any children that accompany them to the garden area.
“The garden plots don’t have to be just vegetables,” said Shea. “These could also be flower gardens, and if the Garden Club wanted to have their own farmer’s market, that would be great”
“I see some great opportunities for the future,” he added. “This could be a really nice area. There is a rest room, and a little playground ...
If there are only three families interested this year, I’m good with that,” said Birnie. “Good things take time to grow.”
By Tuesday afternoon when the pictures for this article were taken, she had already had two calls, so she knows the interest is out there.
To find out more about the potential for a Community Garden in Broken Bow, call Joan Birnie at the Broken Bow Library 308-872-2927, or at home at 872-6301. If she’s not in, Birnie says, please just leave a message.
In other business at Monday’s meeting the City Council:
• Gave approval for the City Street Department to overlay asphalt on the streets at Tomahawk park.
• Agreed with the recommendation of the Planning commission to allow the construction of a professional building in an industrial zone by Pearson Construction.
• Amended the 1-3-5 year plan to include the completion of Melham Park.
• Passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Burt to sign the combined resolution for the Broken Bow Fifth Avenue Trail Project.
• Voted to allow a lot split as requested by the Broken Bow Industrial Corporation.

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