To the Press
CHARLES CITY — The Clark Street Community Garden location has beds for rent available for the 2017 growing season. Applications can be found at the Charles City Chamber of Commerce located at 401 North Main Street. There is a $15 rental fee per bed, per year, and applicants can rent up to 2 beds per person. Bed sizes are 4 feet x 16 feet. Checks are to be made payable to Community Revitalization. Cash is also accepted. Gardening mentors are available for new or beginning gardeners.
The benefits of community gardens are numerous.
- Food production and access – enable people without suitable land of their own to grow food for themselves
- Nutrition – gardeners eat what they produce
- Exercise – gardening is physical activity
- Mental Health – research shows that interacting with plants and working with nature helps reduce stress
- Environment – gardens increase biodiversity, reduce rain runoff, recycle organic materials and reduce fossil fuel usage
- Education – all ages can garden, learn to cook their produce, and learn about nutrition
- Youth – community gardens provide a safe place for youth to explore gardening, nature and community
- Saves Money – produce grown can offset food purchases from the grocery store
- Crime Prevention – research shows that community gardens reduce crime in neighborhoods
In 2015, with the help of the City of Charles City, Iowa Fit4Life grant, Allied Manatts, Jim Lundberg and the Charles City FFA, and community volunteers, 12 beds were built and put in place at the Clark Street Community Garden location on the corner of Clark Street and Leland Avenue. There was an abundance of food grown in those 12 beds with the help of an outstanding growing season and the hard work of beginning and seasoned gardeners.
Building on the success of the 2015 gardening year and demand for garden space in Charles City, grant money was received from Farm Credit Services to pay for and build 12 more beds in 2016. The West St. Charles Methodist Church in rural Charles City, donated funds to help pay for bed rental scholarships and seeds to qualifying individuals and families.
Now in its third year, the Clark Street Community Garden has 24 beds available for rent. Beds are rented on a first come first served basis. The West St. Charles Methodist Church has donated funds again this year to offer bed rental scholarships and seeds to qualifying individuals and families participating with the Floyd County Extension’s Buy.Eat.Live Healthy Program.
New this year, gardener Kevin White, Charles City community member and avid gardener at the Clark Street Community Garden, will be garden manager. “The Clark Street Community Gardens are a very important part of the Charles City fabric”, White says. He plans to make improvements to the garden space, work with volunteers to implement improvements, and take in questions and comments from fellow gardeners at Clark Street Community Gardens for a successful growing season.
For more information on the Clark Street Community Gardens, please contact Community Revitalization at 641-228-2335, Kevin White at 641-210-1836, or Wendy Johnson at 641-228-1583.