In the December 2 work session of the Salida City Council, the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) sat down with council to discuss the future of the Salida Community Garden. Established in 2005, the Salida Community Garden has accommodated local gardeners with 21 to 22 plots each summer for a $50 fee.
The Community Garden is currently located at I Street and 2nd Street, where GARNA has held a lease with the landowners to host the garden. The lease includes the cost of sewer and water on the premises, averaging around $90 a month. In addition to the 21 to 22 plots for growing, GARNA also accepts compost donations at the site.
With fear that the lease will eventually no longer be an option, GARNA has turned to the City of Salida in locating a more permanent home that will have the potential to hold more plots for gardeners.
A lot located on the grounds of the Touber Building is being proposed as the new site location for the community garden. The space would also provide more garden acreage, as it appears to be twice the size of the existing garden.
In determining a location for the new garden, both GARNA and the City have kept in mind the partnerships the community garden has held over the years with groups such as Family Youth Initiative (FYI), Starpoint, and Guidestone, to name a few. With a location that allows for more plots, GARNA says it believes that the waitlist for those looking to get involved will decrease, allowing for more opportunity for the community garden to grow.
GARNA and the City of Salida agreed to continue to develop and grow this idea in future meetings, but overall the council seemed in favor of helping the organization get more people involved and growing next summer.