Plattsburgh Community Garden Group Seeks Permission from the City for Garden Space in Melissa Penfield Park

Post date: Apr 3, 2009 6:18:04 PM

Dear Steve Peters, et al,

Thank you for taking the time to help us find available public space to grow our Plattsburgh Community Garden! I appreciate your efforts and the efforts of other city department employees like the Mike Brodi, Rick Perry and Kevin Farrington to help us clarify information and better understand the issues associated to our request for garden space. Interest from each of you in the success of this program and your collective creative thinking about ways to move it forward in the most cost effective and least intrusive way is greatly appreciated.

As we've discussed, the Plattsburgh Community Garden Group would like to develop and run an on-going allotment style community garden program on the property owned by the city within the grounds of the Melissa Penfield Park (see attached map for clarity on location). This is a change from our previous planning, whereby we were seeking zoning changes to allow us right to use land situated on PSCD land at Bailey Ave School or other land as a community garden.

We've made this change in planning because through the work of the city's team, we learned that the Bailey Ave School location has very difficult access to water, parking issues and we've discovered that some of the neighbors directly bordering the location felt that the space was better utilized as open space, rather than cultivated as a garden.

As such, we would like to partner with the Department of Recreation to run an allotment style garden on land at Melissa Penfield Park. In similar fashion to the way the Little League administers youth athletics on city property, the Plattsburgh Community Garden Group will administer the plot gardens, coordinate activities of the gardeners and collect garden plot fees. The Plattsburgh Community Garden Group will pay the City of Plattsburgh for the use of water at the site from plot fee proceeds. The Plattsburgh Community Garden Group is a not-for-profit organization that exists to create an allotment style community garden/s that will build community, provide an enjoyable and safe place to grow crops, gather as friends, and learn the techniques of successful gardening.

Our initial plan will be to divide the area into individual plots (size is yet to be determined) and assign those plots via a lottery selection on May 4th. Our goal will be to provide a plot for every person or entity that completes an application and pays the plot fee by the deadline of May 4th. We hope to plant our gardens Memorial Weekend (May 23 and 24).

There are some specific items needed to prepare the site for gardening, which I've outlined here:

1) Tap & Meter the underground water line running near the plot area (see attached map)

2) strip sod in 125' long x 23' wide swaths - re-use sod in needed locations around city (DPW / Rec Dept)

3) Provision of approx. 2 inches of organic soil amendment (compost)

4) Roto-til amendment and soil together

The Plattsburgh Community Garden Group is prepared to do each of the items above at our own cost through volunteer efforts and donations, however, we seek the assistance of the Depts of Recreation, Water or Public Works in assistance, if possible.

In addition to the items above, the Plattsburgh Community Garden Group seeks the following from the city:

1) Listing on the city's web site and the Dept of Recreation's web site and mailing with City Chamberlain's bill with plot sign-up information

2) waiver of waste water treatment fee in water bill since our water won't be connected to a waste water drain

3) Clarity on the need for liability insurance coverage

4) Permission to place small skid bottom garden / tool shed on property near garden

5) Permission to erect permanent (two post 6' tall 6' wide approx) sign identifying the garden, outlining rules and posting information

6) Permission to erect growing season plot fences (temporary and removed at end of season) as growth trellis (beans, squash, etc) and plot protection

We would appreciate a response as soon as possible, as we will need time to work together to prepare the land for gardening soon. The Plattsburgh Community Garden Group is next meeting on April 13th, at which time we will have completed our plot diagram finalizing the plot lay-outs and sizes. At our meeting, we expect to receive more applications for garden plots (in addition to the 15 we have now). For community out-reach, we will be seeking plot gardener applications at the Earth Day celebrations both at the Farmers' Market building and at the Champlain Center Mall during the weekend of April 25-26. Our best estimate is that we will need approx 50 garden plots to fulfill the desire of the community for garden space.

On May 4th, we will hold an important annual meeting to assign plot locations and collect plot payments. We MUST have the plots outlined and ready for gardening by that date.

Thank you!

Doug Butdorf


Doug Butdorf

Plattsburgh Community Garden Group

518-314-1390 - desk