Deb Babcock: Stop by the community garden |

Deb Babcock: Stop by the community garden

Deb Babcock

— Many counties, cities and towns throughout the world offer community gardens to their residents. It's a way to bring about a sense of community and a connection to the environment while neighbors get together and nurture plots of land to grow produce for personal use or for sharing with others. It also makes wonderful use of land that often has become neglected and unsightly.

Working with local master gardeners through the CSU Extension Routt County, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's Leadership Steamboat 2010 class designed a Community Roots Garden for residents on a plot of land along Oak Street between Sixth and Seventh streets. The property is owned by Routt County and has been made available for individual garden plots that local residents may reserve for the growing season and manage themselves (or with friends and family) to produce vegetables for personal consumption.

More work is being done this spring and summer to improve the site. Master Gardener Eileen Grover is organizing a garden cleanup project from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday and is looking for volunteers willing to help out for a couple of hours. For cleanup day, she asks that you come with gloves and gardening tools, such as rakes, trowels, spades, scissors, trash bags, etc. She will bring her tiller to mix the soil with additives such as compost, which we have on site, or manure or other additives that individuals might like to add.

Also this summer as part of an Eagle Scout project, Garrett Pohlman will be working to install a patio and a walkway from the gardens to Butcher Creek. Volunteers can help rake and grade the soil that is being delivered to the site to help get started on the project.

There currently is a waiting list for the gardens because reservations for the individual plots were snapped up almost as soon as they were made available. The cost is $25 for the season. Those chosen for a small personal garden plot must agree to follow a short set of rules that includes respecting neighboring plots, maintaining their garden to a reasonable standard and volunteering hours to help maintain the common areas of the plot of land. To get on the list for one of these gardens, call the Extension Office at 970-879-0825 for an application or email

Deb Babcock is a Colorado master gardener through the CSU Extension Routt County. For information about community gardens or for answers to your questions, call 970-879-0825.

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