Community garden proposed for Holmes Beach

Community garden proposed for Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach resident Mary Catherine Melancon and committee Chair Mary Lange survey the prospects for a community garden location at Memorial Park. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH – The city’s Parks and Beautification Committee members are considering a new project – the possibility of installing a community garden.

Holmes Beach resident Mary Catherine Melancon and committee Chair Mary Lange presented the idea during a Feb. 5 committee meeting.

Melancon said the idea would be to have a community garden where people in the community could participate in growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in a social setting.

Lange said that while she would like the city to purchase the vacant lot located between Key Royale and Marina drives, she knows that might not be possible. Instead, Lange suggested identifying one or more areas in city parks that could be used for the community gardening project. After the meeting concluded, Lange and Melancon walked to Memorial Park, located adjacent to Holmes Beach City Hall, to see if there was enough flat, raised green space between the park and the Island Branch Library to place a few raised gardening beds as a pilot program. The two plan to report back to the committee in March after looking at other potential locations. The women also agreed to develop a presentation on the project and a cost estimate to present to city commissioners.

Director of Development Services Eran Wasserman said he thinks the idea is a good one, but that the project would need to be a spot where the large gardening beds could be placed, has access to irrigation, is safe for pedestrians to walk to and would have easy parking. Melancon added that there should be fencing or some kind of barrier to prevent people not a part of the gardening project from picking the produce.

If the committee opts to move the project forward, it will need approval from city commissioners before any construction on the gardening beds can begin.

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