“Supporting local agriculture and access to local foods is an integral piece of Pittsfield Township’s 2020 Sustainable Vision. We strive to realize this vision in many ways, including providing for such amenities and features as a farmers market, bee apiary, pollinator gardens, and local farm stands. Now, we are pleased to announce yet another way to keep us moving forward in our efforts to be more sustainable: community gardens. The first community garden is ready to go at Prairie Park and we hope it will be the first of many!” noted Supervisor Mandy Grewal.
Beginning with the 2010 Pittsfield Master Plan, Pittsfield Township articulated and prioritized the dual needs of providing for: (a) the economic viability of agriculture; and (b) local food access. Since then, Pittsfield Township has fostered a vibrant famers market along with instituting zoning changes to allow for greater economic success of local agriculture such as vending at annual events and local farm stands.
The Master Plan also calls for the establishment of community gardens: “These [community] gardens can help educate residents about the importance of local foods, help them make connections with farmers who may participate in these gardening activities, generate a strong sense of community, and provide all Township residents access to fresh, healthy produce.” With the adoption of the 2020 Sustainable Vision Master Plan, a few years ago, Pittsfield Township took the “next step to hard-code sustainability into the DNA of our work processes and products,” and defining establishment of community gardens at our public parks as a priority.
As a first step toward delivering on this vision, Pittsfield Township is pleased to announce the opening of its first community garden at Prairie Park, located adjacent to the Farmers Market site at the Administration Building. As such, we hope to build synergies between our community gardens and the Farmers Market for the purpose of enhancing local food access.
The community garden will provide eighteen total plots including single raised plots, double raised plots, and ADA accessible table beds. An additional plot will be available to conduct community workshops and demonstrations for amateur gardeners. The garden area will also include an equipment shed, water access, rain barrels, compost bins, native/pollinator gardens, a picnic area, and designated parking.
The Township is in search of volunteers and local area Master Gardeners to help shape the program. Interested parties can visit our website at www.pittsfield-mi.gov/communitygarden to learn more and submit an interest form beginning on February 18, 2019. Plot assignments will be made based on submission of interest and will be done on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, please contact the garden coordinator at [email protected]; 734-822-3135.