Sunday, December 1, 2013

An Award Winning Garden

The MOSAIC Land Trust's Community Garden on Chestnut Street was one of five projects that were honored last month at the annual awards ceremony conducted by the Montgomery County Planning Commission.

This annual program recognizes the best in planning and design in Montgomery County and acknowledges the high-quality work and commitment of communities, organizations, and professionals.

The garden stand from which produce

grown at the garden is sold.
The four other projects receiving awards were Ambler Boiler House in Ambler Borough, Arborcrest in Whitpain Township, Arbor Heights in the Municipality of Norristown and Whitehall Townhouses in Lower Merion Township.

The community garden's award was presented because of its "creative vision, successful collaboration, strong community involvement and positive neighborhood impact," according to the information provided by the county.

Formerly a run-down park owned by the school district, the 8,400-square-foot garden was first conceived in the Washington Neighborhood Plan completed in 2010 by Genesis Housing Corp.

In 2011, the school district donated the site to the MOSAIC Community Land Trust to be redeveloped as a garden.

The plan showed 30 individual garden plots for residents and organizations and a gate, fencing, patio and wooden pergola were all added. There is also a shed with community tools, rain barrels, a compost bin, seeds and mulch for all to use.

Garden Manager Laura Washington
This year a bee hive was donated by a local beekeeper and a farm stand has been constructed to
sell some of the produce.

Twenty-two families and eight organizations have garden plots including Pottstown Middle School, Walnut Street Community Seventh Day Adventist Church, Genesis Housing, Olivet's Boys and Girls Club and a local restaurant.

Gardeners pay a small annual fee for their lot and this year logged more than 943 hours in the garden, harvesting more than 569 pounds of produce.

The garden's philosophy is to focus on health and nutrition, as well as the growing sense of community it fosters. it provides educational workshops for new and experience gardeners and sponsors many activities for both children and adults.
The garden stresses healthy eating and nutrition. Children

painted the garden's benches.

The Olivet Boys and Girls Club offers a summer youth program there, where children work on art
projects and tend to garden plots. This year, about 50 children participated, painting colorful garden benches, learning how to use binoculars, painting bird houses, creating mosaic tile stepping stones and using garden ingredients to make pizzas.

Funding was provided through the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, National Penn Bank, Susquehanna Bank, Genesis Housing Corp., Pottstown School District, the Borough of Pottstown, Lowe's, Davey Tree Experts, Andrew Monastra, P.C. and Colonial Gardens.

The project's success had led the organization to begin construction on a second garden at 616 Chestnut St.

The plan which got the whole thing underway

Visit for more on the 2013 winners, the awards program, and previous recipients. 

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