Kodiak’s first community garden is quickly becoming a reality, but it will take volunteers from the community to make it happen. Dave Kaplan is a project coordinator for the Kodiak Soil and Water Conservation District, the organization behind the community garden project. Kaplan said the borough and city have provided land for the garden, which is located on Larch Street, behind the boulders across from the small park. He said Kodiak Soil and Water have purchased the lumber, hardware and liners needed to build 24 raised beds in that area.
“And on August 2 we’re asking that we have a little community effort – anybody who wants to volunteer, so we can construct the beds, the raised beds, and get this thing rolling.”
Kaplan noted that they still haven’t hashed out a method of distributing usage of the beds to community members, and those that come volunteer in the building process aren’t guaranteed a bed.
“At this juncture we want to get the beds in, and we want to get the dirt right after that. And then soil and water will develop a plan, I guess a formula, to where the 24 beds will go to whoever applies. We don’t want to put the horse before the cart yet, we want to get it in place and then we’ll develop a plan to apportion the beds to the people who want to participate.”
He said the hope is that everything will get constructed on August 2 and have dirt placed in them shortly after that so they will be ready to go for planting late crops.
Kaplan said community gardens are popping up all over the country, even in urban areas like Washington, D.C. He said the desire to create a community garden in Kodiak came as the number of high tunnel hoop houses and folks interested in gardening grew over the past few years.
“There are people that – they don’t have the land to put the high tunnel on, or space available. So we thought this would be a nice alternative. Instead of a high tunnel and then going through the whole gambit of getting a high tunnel – it can get complicated – that we do this community garden and at least they have a 4X12 foot raised bed where they can grow vegetables and what not.”
Kaplan said folks who qualify for the beds will be charged with managing their bed, including irrigation or water drip systems. He said it is likely there will be some sort of membership fee to help maintain the area and supervise it, but those details have yet to be worked out by the soil and water conservation district.
As far as the August 2 building party goes, Kaplan said interested community members should show up at the site around 10 a.m. in work clothes. Tools and building supplies will be provided.