Sugar House community garden taking shape

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After more than 10 years of abandonment, the Fairmont Park tennis courts are going to be blossoming and blooming with a community garden this summer. Members of the Sugar House community are tired of the courts on 2200 S. 900 E. in Salt Lake City being an eyesore and are prepping them to be covered with large wooden boxes, known as plots, to be utilized by community members, said Mark Morris, a landscape architect who is volunteering with the project.

“We’re excited to see the garden take off this summer and fall,” Morris said.

The plots can be rented for the growing season for around $35, which may include water prices if a diversion right is obtained as planned. The Boys and Girls Club will also use a portion of the garden to teach about gardening and healthy eating choices.

“Removing the tennis courts just isn’t feasible right now due to costs and other factors,” Morris said. “But we’re getting ready to put the boxes right on top of the court. Similar projects have worked beautifully in other areas.”

The plots are 12 feet long, four feet wide and 18 inches deep, which should be large enough to accommodate most types of plants and herbs. And if there is space, participants will be allowed to rent more than one plot, Morris said. After the entire garden is finished, there will be about 90 beds available. However, in addition to the community members and the Boys and Girls Club, the garden will also feature plots that will be used to raise produce to be donated and given to people who volunteer for the project in a variety of ways.

Access to the garden won’t be restricted, but some basic guidelines will be recommended, such as not staying too late or arriving too early and making noise because there are homes nearby, Morris said.

“The garden will serve the community is so many different ways,” Morris said. “Not only will it make use of some prime real estate, it’s going to be used by the Boys and Girls Club to teach young kids and teenagers, and it will offer an opportunity for community members that wouldn’t be able to grow their own vegetables and herbs a space to do that.”

Donor and sponsor applications are now being accepted for the garden. For more information about the project and to sign up for a plot, go to SugarHouseCommunityGarden.Blog.com or find Sugar House Community Garden on Facebook. Up-to-date information will be posted on the blog and on Facebook as the project develops.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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