North Austin neighborhoods partner with city for community garden

A one-acre plot of city of Austin land will be under construction by late October to create a new community garden.



The garden, called the Adelphi Acre Community Garden, is located on the southeast corner of Adelphi Lane and Amherst Drive. Gardeners will only plant organic plants, and a demonstration plot will serve to educate the public about sustainable gardening. The garden will have 46 4-foot-by-12-foot plots and 14 10-foot-by-10-foot plots, and all plots are already reserved, said Sabrina Joplin, who spearheaded planning the garden.



"Some people worried it's already filled up, but we do plan to have open areas for people to participate in community get-togethers and potlucks," she said.



Local Eagle Scouts from Troop 511 have also built tables and benches for public use, Joplin said.



The Milwood Branch Library—located kitty-corner from the garden—approached the garden steering committee about partnering for adult education classes at the garden. Joplin said they plan to take education a step further by connecting with area preschools and elementary schools.



"We'll bring a lot of learning opportunities that are family friendly," she said.



The idea for the garden, which is being sponsored by the Sustainable Food Center, began in early 2013 when a group of residents from the Walnut Crossing neighborhood met with residents in the adjacent Milwood neighborhood, Joplin said.



Joplin said residents were looking for ways to fund the garden and discovered the city's Neighborhood Partnering Program. That program provides cost-sharing opportunities for small infrastructure projects, NPP Manager Justin Golbabai said.



"The program is one of the best-kept secrets in Austin," Golbabai said. "It really is a great opportunity for neighborhoods to make an impact and get together. The key to the program is great ideas."



He said the city awarded the project $51,482, and city staff will help to install a water line and meter for the garden and purchase materials for irrigation. He said the community will do most of the legwork and maintenance of the garden.



"The most amazing thing that group did was how they leveraged their neighborhood," Golbabai said. "They did good job of bringing the library on board. They really came together around the garden idea and did fantastic job of putting together vision. The point [of the program] is how to use city projects to bring the community together. This project exemplifies that motto."



The NPP started in 2009 and the first projects were completed in 2011, Golbabai said. Nine projects have been completed including gardens, sidewalks, bike facilities and murals. Eight projects are scheduled for construction this fall and six are in planning stages.



The city is accepting applications for new NPP projects until Oct. 1. Residents may visit www.austintexas.gov/neighborhoodpartnering for more information or call Golbabai at 512-974-6439 to obtain an application.



A ground breaking has been scheduled for Oct. 25 at the garden. More information about the Adelphi Acre Community Garden may be found at www.adelphiacre.org.

By Amy Denney
Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and then senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition and covering transportation. She is now managing editor for the nine publications in the Central Texas area.


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