Transition Whatcom

(I have cut and pasted some email discussions here about scouting out a location for a community garden in the York neighborhood):

BARBARA DAVENPORT WROTE: I am investigating a plot of land next to freeway, 1400 block of James, for a community garden and have talked with DOT and some Parks Dept. folks. Next step would be to get the soil tested. Perhaps we might discuss other possibilities as well.

KIRSTI WROTE: The property on 1400 block James (between James St and the sound wall) is Dept of Transportation property. We call it Jeremy's park, after Jeremy Nunnikoven (sp) who faithfully mowed the grass each summer. (He rented with his own $ a riding lawnmower from Hardware Sales.)

Residents use it for a dog run, there are two horseshoe pits set up, and in the summer a volleyball or tennis net (I don't know the difference!) is set up. So the property--at least at the northern end-- is well-used. At the southern end, there are trees sporadically planted.

I've noticed the ever creeping Himalyan blackberries growing near the wall.

The good news is that, so far, drug use and parties have not taken over, as evidence shows happening on the DOT property between the sound wall and 1700 King St.

Would there be any possibility of expanding the gardens currently at Lincoln Square, and working cooperatively with the residents and the Bellingham/Whatcom Housing Authority?

CHRIS WROTE: Thanks for the information, Kirsti. Where is Lincoln Square?

I think it is good if we do some scouting all around the neighborhood and compare several potential community garden spaces. If the James St space is well-used for other purposes, there may be another spot that is not used and would make a great garden. Anyway, it is worth a little investigation.

I would be happy to do an informal walking/scouting tour of possible garden sites-- anyone else interested?

KIRSTI WROTE: Lincoln Square is the Whatcom/Bellingham Housing Authority facility for seniors and disabled by the Bellingham Grocery Outlet, down by Whatcom Creek, on York. When I'm out walking the dog, I've noticed that they have small (maybe 3 ft by 5) raised beds in the "back yard". Unfortunately, there are also a fair number of deciduous trees so I wonder if the plots get any full afternoon sun!

I've met Irma, who is in charge of facilities, and I've a hunch she'd be interested in a joint neighborhood/housing authority project.

and, yes, I'd be interested in a walking tour. My best guess is that there isn't any (or much) public property available; only the willingness of private parties to "donate" the use of their land! Let me know when ya wanna go trekkin'!

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Replies to This Discussion

I like the idea of a collaborative project with Lincolm Square. I also like the idea of exploring ways in which home owners could "donate" space for community garden use. I do know that folks to the South of the James Street site get a lot of pleasure out of using it now, and it would be important to involve them in any plans to use the space.

And - Let me know when you want to go walkabout and I will join you.
What time works for people to do a walking exploration of community garden sites in the neighborhood? For me, I am free most daytimes and work in the evenings. Weekends are good for me too. --Chris

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