New Community Garden
From the moment that the Mill Valley Community Garden opened, it was popular. “You get more from the garden than just vegetables”, says founding member Joan Irwin. “The Garden brings people together. People walk by, are interested, and start conversations.”
But after only a few years, Joan and the Community Garden Committee were facing a problem. The Garden was so popular that the waitlist for a plot was already over 10 years long. They decided to advocate for a second garden.
At first the project went well. They identified a great location next to the Mill Valley Public Safety Building, received city approval to use the land for a garden and were able to secure start-up funding from the Springcreek Foundation. Then the project hit a snag--significant grading work would be required, far exceeding the original budget. The project stalled for several years.
In 2016, the Mill Valley Friends of Parks and Recreation (MV Friends) became involved, committing money and labor to build the gates, fencing and planter boxes. This enabled to city to proceed with the grading work, confident that the project had resources to be completed. According to Joan, “without MV Friends’ donation, that plot would just be a patch of flat land. And that gate is a beautiful, visible symbol of the garden”.
The new Community Garden, scheduled to open in late 2016, will double capacity and provide plots for dozens of new gardeners. That’s great news to Garden Committee member Jamie Lease, who says that “gardening and harvesting your own vegetables make them so much better on your plate”. Adds Joan “it’s important for kids to know that food comes from the earth, not the grocery store.”