The Lincoln County CD chose the Davenport Community Garden as its location to demonstrate water conservation practices, xeriscaping and educational programming. Water conservation is an issue in Lincoln County and, even though Davenport is in an agricultural area, there is very little locally sourced food available.
With the addition of several other local grants and community fundraising, the garden was excavated and rebuilt from the ground up. It now provides an inviting space for the public to gather and learn about water conservation practices, xeriscaping and native plants through educational programs. The gazebo created an area for educational programs, 4-H demonstrations, agriculture classwork and demonstrations on “Farm to Table” sustainability. A paver pathway and ADA-compliant garden boxes have made the garden accessible.
All the labor and machinery for excavation of the site was donated along with the electrical and plumbing needs from start to finish. The soil and compost for the raised garden beds was donated. The district worked side-by-side with the contractors and the City of Davenport crew to install weed barrier, gravel, landscape rocks and soil. The gazebo was built and installed by volunteers. Over $7,000 in donations were raised, including a couple small grants and the selling of engraved bricks for the walkways. The latter is an ongoing fundraiser.
The community garden is currently growing with vegetables and flowers harvested for the Lincoln County Fair, where the garden was promoted.
Educational programs are being planned for the upcoming year. The district is working with the local school district in creating curriculum for the spring. Part of the planning includes hands-on demonstrations, renovating the high school greenhouse, 4-H and FFA demonstrations. A junior “Farm to Table” program for kindergarten through second grade will offer hands-on activities; seed starts to planting to harvesting at the start of school for a locally-sourced lunch prepared by the school chefs. The district is working with SNAP ED and Washington Green Schools as well as with the Davenport School District to bring “Zombie Guacamole” composting program this year.
The District Communications Coordinator will continue the garden coordination as the volunteer group is established and will coordinate events held in the garden this upcoming season.
As a member of the Washington Fire Adaptive Communities, the district is finalizing a grant request for fire-resistant plantings in the community garden as a countywide demonstration.
The district has also been invited to participate in the newly formed Washington State “Farm to Table Network.”