Resident greenthumbs enjoy fresh produce from Fitts Park Community GardenAug 05, 2022 09:48AM ● By Bill Hardesty
At the July 13 City Council meeting, the council approved the name of the new community garden at 3065 S. 400 East as the Fitts Park Community Garden. The garden is full of green vegetables at this midpoint of the growing season. Soon the harvest will be ready.
There is some talk about a U-pick area for residents who want fresh produce but didn’t get a plot.
Over 30 residents are involved. The plot fee is $35, with plot scholarships available. The SSL Department of Neighborhoods operates the community garden in conjunction with the Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG). SSL received a grant from the WCG for the Fitts Park Community Garden.
“I’m excited to announce that your garden application has been tentatively accepted,” Giles Larsen, Parks for Produce program manager with Wasatch Community Gardens, wrote. “Very nice work! I’m impressed by the very quick turnaround on collecting signatures, the diversity of organizations that SSL works with, and the degree to which the community appears excited about this project!”
WCG also manages the Harmony Park Community Garden at 3690 S. West Temple.
Fitts Community Garden vs. Central Park Community Garden
This new community garden is different than the community garden at Central Park. The Central Park Community Garden is sponsored by the New Roots Initiative, a program of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in conjunction with Wasatch Community Gardens.
This type of community garden is located in Central Park, and a larger one is at the Central Valley Reclamation Facility on the city’s west side.
Millcreek City has a garden at Sunnyvale Park on 700 West. The IRC also runs the park.
These gardens focus on providing an area for refugees to grow fresh fruit and vegetables and, more importantly, vegetables and fruit they are familiar with.
On the other hand, the new Fitts Park community garden is open to all SSL residents.
WCG and the Parks for Produce program
Wasatch Community Gardens is a nonprofit organization. Since 1989, the organization has provided access to land for growing and education to children, adults and families.
Its mission statement is simple: “Empowering people to grow and eat healthy organic local food.”
The organization fulfills its mission through four main programs: Community Garden, Community Education, Youth and School Garden, and Job Training Programs.
Within the Community Garden program is a joint venture of WCG and Salt Lake County. The program is called Parks for Produce. The program focuses on turning some of the parks’ lands into community gardens. The WCG is well organized and supplies a Parks for Produce manual, which takes the community garden from a concept to reality. It also provides tested rules to support the garden.
WCG’s additional resource is a variety of workshops and webinars on using effective garden techniques to plant suitable crops for the Wasatch Front. They also provide garden coaching sessions most Wednesdays from March through August via Facebook Live. Check their website (www.wasatchgardens.org/) for details.
Last year, as the city worked on the General Plan, many residents voiced the need for a skate park. The SSL Department of Neighborhoods found the property and the City Council approved purchasing property at 2650 South Main for the skate park.
The city is now in the process of designing the park and obtaining financing to build it. However, the Department of Neighborhoods is interested in residents’ thoughts on the park. They can be reached at 801-464-6757 or [email protected]. λ