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Community Garden nears opening

By Staff | Aug 30, 2018

Thanks to Rotary, gardeners will soon be able to rent a raised bed in Cape Coral’s first community garden. City of Cape Coral

Green thumb enthusiasts will soon have an opportunity to rent a plot in the first Community Garden in Cape Coral.

Rotary Park senior recreation specialist Honey Phillips said they are getting closer to opening the Rotary Community Garden for rental spots, something many have been hoping for for years.

It’s thanks to the efforts volunteers that – literally – dug deep to make the project a reality.

“The Rotary Club was generous enough to build an amazing garden. Up at City Hall, the Rotary Clubs of Cape Coral have built a community garden. They are giving it to the city and we will be running plot rentals out of Rotary Park,” she said. “It’s almost finished. We can start renting out plots soon.”

A ribbon cutting event will be held at noon Saturday, Sept. 29. The garden is located north of the City Hall parking lot. There also is a big tiki hut nearby where people can rest and get out of the heat while gardening.

There are 52 raised 4×8 foot garden plots, five of which are handicapped accessible. Phillips said the handicap accessible gardens are higher up, so individuals do not have to reach down to access them.

“The garden is built like the design of the Rotary wheel. I have planted the center of it with Feed the Bee grant provided money to purchase plants for pollinators. The center is a sunflower garden and it attracts bees to pollinate the garden,” Phillips said.

Plot rental is $100 for the fiscal year, Oct. 1, through Sept. 30. The plots have irrigation and there is a storage container filled with tools. In addition, there is a mulching compost bin that the gardeners will have access to as well.

Individuals can plant anything that is legal.

“They can plant flowers, or they can plant vegetables,” Phillips said. “If they have vegetables, we would like them to donate a little to the Caring Center from their harvest.”

Around the perimeter of the garden, edible and pollinating trees will be planted. They will have bananas and papayas that individuals can help themselves to eat.

The garden will be fenced in and gardeners will be given a swipe access card to get inside the gate once it is installed.

“It’s really a nice garden. It’s the nicest garden in town and it is the first one available to rent,” Phillips said.

Anyone interested in more information can call Rotary Park at (239) 549-4606.

The idea of the garden began about five years ago. The Cape Coral City Council approved the garden three years ago, which kicked off the designing and construction components

“We have had a lot of people support us, donate a lot of money and time,” Phillips said.