Sammamish picks site for new community garden

November 25, 2012

By Caleb Heeringa

New: Nov. 25, 11:22 a.m.

Sammamish’s first community garden could be open in Lower Commons Park as soon as summer 2013.

The Sammamish City Council got their first look at initial designs for the garden at a Nov. 13 meeting. The city will be holding public meetings to get input from neighbors in the coming months, but the steering committee in charge of the project has endorsed the Lower Commons location as being cheaper and better suited than the original Beaver Lake Park location, which had power lines overhead and steep slopes that would have required costly excavation and terracing.

“We look forward to developing the garden and creating a place that’s a real asset to the community,” committee member Stephanie Hibner said at the council meeting.

The city estimates that it can complete the garden at the Lower Commons site, in the flat grassy area near the parking lot off 222nd Place Southeast, for about $150,000. The city had budgeted $200,000 for the Beaver Lake site and that total did not include a tool shed and planter boxes.

The Lower Commons site is also flat, with fewer trees blocking sunlight, and already had parking and irrigation. The city’s initial designs call for 60 planter boxes in a 6,000 square foot fenced enclosure.

The committee also looked at placing a community garden in Southeast Eighth Street Park, but elected not to endorse that location because it was “divergent from the character of the park” and neighbors of the park had concerns about the amount of traffic coming and going.

Parks Director Jessi Richardson said the committee will now begin to focus on developing policies on how to allocate space in the garden and how much to charge.

“We know that demand is going to be greater than the number of boxes, so it will probably be based on some sort of lottery system,” she said.

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