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Emmitsburg approves community gardens

Ashley Andyshak Hayes
Frederick News-Post

(2/23) Residents will be able to grow their own vegetables this year in the town's new community garden.

Town commissioners unanimously approved the garden plans Monday evening, and the plots should be ready to plant this spring, Commissioner Pat Joy said.

The garden will be located in the northeast part of Community Park, with easy access to a parking area and walking trails, Joy said. The garden will consist of 12 plots, each measuring 10 feet by 5 feet.

Residents can rent plots for a $20 fee, which is refundable at the end of the growing season, according to regulations presented Monday.

Renters will be responsible for weeding and maintaining their own plots, and must leave the plot empty of all vegetation and debris at the end of the growing season. Rain barrels will be set up near buildings in Community Park, about 300 feet from the garden, and residents can use the water for their plots, Joy said. The garden plan isn't set in stone, and adjustments can be made if the location and logistics don't work for residents, Joy said.

"If the location is not ideal, we will revisit the issue next winter ... to see if a better location can be made if necessary," he said.

The garden was conceptualized by the town's citizen advisory committee and was first presented to commissioners during their March 7 meeting.

In their written proposal, the committee said that the garden would provide opportunities for community development and social interaction, and reduce food costs for individuals and families.

Denise Etris, a former commissioner and founding member of the citizens advisory committee, spoke in support of the community garden during the March 7 meeting.

"It's great family involvement. It's sort of a green activity, and it promotes people from different areas of town getting together," Etris said.

Several other municipalities in Frederick and Montgomery counties operate community gardens, and Joy said none had reported problems with vandalism or other issues.

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