New Community Garden at Willamette Park

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Community-GardenThose with a burgeoning interest in gardening or seasoned green thumbs now have another spot to plant and grow within the city of Corvallis. A new community garden has been established at the site of the old campground at Willamette Park, the city’s largest park. The old campground is one of the 17 recommended locations for community green spaces outlined in the Community Garden Master Plan.

A community garden serves as a tangible place for people to interact with plants, nature, and one another. Growing your own food can be educational and a great excuse to dig in the dirt. Plus, you get to eat your work.

“Growth and learning experiences for community members, and having healthy food options— those are some of the benefits,” said Recreation Coordinator Debra Curtis of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “For the city, it helps in food sustainability, and food security in our neighborhoods.”

Other goals of having community gardens in Corvallis include enhancing settings in and around city parks, teaching citizens about water conservation and healthy eating, limiting the risks of obesity and disease with more healthy food options, and constructing gardens that have limited maintenance requirements for future use.

Those interested in renting a plot within a city garden will need to sign a liability waiver. Corvallis’ master plan provides a lengthy list of allowed plants. The master plan includes rules, regulations, and procedures for people interested in establishing a garden in any neighborhood throughout the city. Residents can also look up how gardens need to meet certain development and municipal codes, as well as policies of the city council.

“The master plan provides you with the framework about how to go about getting a community garden in your neighborhood and then working with us (the Parks and Recreation Department) to get it developed. Part of the Community Garden Master Plan is to establish a community garden in any neighborhood that has space and wants one,” said Curtis. “While the process can take a while, there is a possibility of more community gardens being established within city limits in the next two years.”

Community gardens throughout the city, including the new garden at Willamette Park, are open starting this month for the current growing season. Garden plots at the Willamette Park location are available to rent, with a variety of sizes and rental fees. Options include 10-by-10 annuals-only plots for $55, 10-by-20 annuals-only plots for $75, and 10-by-20 plots for annuals and perennials for $90. Rental fees are for the entire season and include access to water, irrigation, gardening tools, and a tool shed. Michael Molk, a garden program assistant with the Parks and Recreation Department, will help coordinate garden operations.

To rent a plot at the new Willamette Park community garden, visit To learn more about how to create a community garden in your neighborhood, visit

By Abbie Tumbleson

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