A harmonious place, accessible to everyone — that’s the motto of Legion Field Park’s community garden, and what Oberlin residents kept repeating to urge city council to continue its support.
Council voted Monday to approve a one-year agreement with Zion Community Development Corporation to continue managing its work.
The open-access garden has been operating since 2010 and provides dozens of soil beds for people to grow their own food and plants.
Councilman Kelley Singleton, who recently voiced concerns about the group’s garden operation, had a change of mind after a tour by garden manager Peter Crowley.
“I think we can all agree that it doesn’t quite look the way we would like it to, but I think there’s an opportunity to get there,” Singleton said, and supported passage on emergency.
He said he understands the need to start work right away and also supported moving the garden into the hands of the city recreation commission.
Singleton also previously mentioned the garden’s fences caving in on all four sides. Along with Crowley, community member Rod Knight will be part of a crew to rebuild the fences.
Knight emphasized the importance of a public garden. Students from area schools can rack up volunteer hours and those studying horticulture at Lorain County Community College can can gain hands-on experience in their field.
A record detailing all activities, maintenance and operation costs, and fees collected was submitted by Zion CDC and included in council’s packet along with a letter of support from Oberlin Community Services.
The Legion Field garden has been a consistent donor of produce to OCS’s food pantry as well as seeds, soil, wood chips, and dry compost matter, organization director Margie Flood wrote in a letter to council.
The garden has also helped reduce pantry waste by accepting all excess produce beyond what OCS can compost for their own crop production, she wrote.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.