Cherry Creek unveils community garden, city takes applications for more neighborhood improvements

Residents in the Cherry Creek neighborhood will soon celebrate a completed community garden thanks in part to assistance from Austin's Neighborhood Partnering Program.

The program, which enables local residents to improve their neighborhoods by cost-matching local projects, recently began accepting applications for its June 1 deadline, Program Manager Justin Golbabai said. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements, community gardens, trails and landscaping are among the types of projects the program supports.

"The whole goal of our program is to empower neighborhoods through a community," he said. "When [residents] come up with the vision and then we as a staff can support them and we can have neighbors meet neighbors, it's just awesome."

On April 25 at 10 a.m., a ribbon-cutting hosted by the Public Works Department, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Sustainable Food Center will celebrate the debut of the finished Cherry Creek Community Garden, located at 5618 Bayton Loop.

"They've done great work over there," Golbabai said, noting residents revamped unused floodplain land to develop the space.

Community organizations such as neighborhood associations, neighborhood plan contact teams and church groups can contact the city about projects they want considered for the program. City staff then vets programs to see whether they are feasible and if so, the organization can fill out an application, he said.

"Residents who are [using] our program are cost-matching with either cash or volunteer hours," Golbabai said.

The program is funded in part by about $1.2 million in 2012 general obligation bonds, he said.

For more information, residents can call 512-974-6439, consult the city's website or visit the program's Facebook page.