The City of Kalamazoo’s Department of Parks and Recreation is inviting all Kalamazoo-area residents to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the West Main Hill Community Garden Project, the first community garden in the City to be created in a City park.
The event will take place at Henderson Park (1500 Grand Avenue) on Thursday, September 1, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation and Community Planning & Development staff will be in attendance, as well as representatives from Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes and local healthy-eating advocate The Fresh Food Fairy.
The process to develop the garden started in June of 2015, when several members of the West Main Hill Neighborhood began to explore the idea of transforming an under-utilized park into a community garden. Guidelines for the garden were developed in a collaborative effort between the neighborhood association and City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department, with input from various departments within the city. Development of the guidelines took 6 months and construction started in April of 2016.
As the first community garden to be located in a city park, the West Main Hill Community Garden is a pilot project to determine the feasibility of incorporating community gardens in other parks throughout the city.
“This was a great opportunity to work directly with residents of the West Main Hill Neighborhood to bring something new to Henderson Park,” said Ryan Johnson, Parks Manager for the City of Kalamazoo. “I hope the success of this project inspires more of these unique, collaborative projects in the future.”
Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the neighborhood will be holding a picnic featuring recipes made from produce grown in the community garden. All residents are encouraged to attend.