Fountain Hills Community Garden 2020 Legacy Award Winner
The planning for the Fountain Hills Community Garden began in March of 2016.
There were numerous ideas and brainstorming hit the ground running. The committee got approval from the Town Council to utilize the area south of the Library and Museum.
Organizers needed a good plan and design. They focused on getting fundraising off the ground and received generous donations and grants.
The garden would have four phases to completion. Phase One was ready to go, and leasing 61 beds began a year later in January 2017. Beds sold out in three weeks. Phase Two would accommodate 62 more people, and was completed in January 2018, totaling 123 beds. Organizers had Phase 2 completed and ready in another year, January 2018, with 62 more beds bringing the total to 123 beds.
Beds sold out again in 2019, and the new year brought a wait list of some 18 people.
The garden has a total of five special donation beds for the Extended Hands Food Bank; 117 leasable garden beds; and six ADA compliant leasable beds.
Phase Three includes two garden sheds, a greenhouse and a beehive enclosure with three to four beehives. (The bees are said to be the hardest workers every single day.)
The garden features seven picnic tables and umbrellas for the comfort for gardeners and visitors. A number of benches also have been donated.
In Phase Four gardeners built a 4,000-square-foot paver, shaded pavilion area and demonstration cooking area. There are three stationary tables for guest speakers. Cooking presentations are filled to capacity; more chairs are needed to accommodate everyone.
Garden Board President Rita Applegate said she cannot say enough about the garden board and their dedication to the garden’s success. Garden managers are always available to help.
“We are all volunteers, and we are making a difference in our community every single day,” Applegate said. “Thank you to everyone who has made our Fountain Hills Community Garden a success.”
Visit the ilovefountainhills.org website for further information. The website features an online sign up to be a Friend of the Garden, garden bed wait list, two donations programs for engraved pavers and benches and considerable information available regarding gardening and past class presentations.
Applegate invited the community to check out Facebook and visit the FH Community Garden page.
“Follow us as we continue to grow nutritious organic produce and provide a sense of community, with gardening and cooking classes for children and adults,” she said. “Happy gardening.”