Mini-grant program summary: Big changes in our community gardens

This year’s mini-grants provided $10,712 in infrastructural improvements to seven community gardens throughout Salt Lake County. Three of these were gardens overseen by Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG), while four were gardens supported by WCG solely through our leadership resource Network. The focus of this year’s grant was again essential site improvements. Four gardens built tool sheds, one garden installed irrigation, one garden purchased an ADA-accessible picnic table, and one garden completed a variety of projects, including trimming of large fruit trees, purchase of basic tools, and irrigation timers. Below is a summary of project impacts, as described in mini-grant final reports, and a few photos:


4TH East Garden, 553 S 400 E, Salt Lake City
“We were able to trim two apple trees on the north side of the garden that were unsafe to walk under, and shaded two garden plots. We were also able to upgrade our garden’s equipment. It was especially nice to buy a safe ladder for maintenance work on our cistern, plus we were able to purchase a tiller, new wheelbarrow, hand tools, and ground cover for the parking strip to cut down on weeds.”

4th East


Canyon Rim Community Garden, 2700 E 2900 S, Salt Lake City
“Prior to the garden shed being completed, we had no water tight location to store supplies. Our former greenhouse was in poor condition, had leaks and was difficult to keep locked. We now have a place to store our fertilizer, tools, and supplies for the irrigation system that is water tight and locked. Our garden was also very hot and had little to no shade. The shed was placed at a location in the garden to maximize shade, as well as the front roof was extended to help provide an additional shaded area.”


Grateful Tomato Garden, 600 E 800 S, Salt Lake City
Previously, tools for community gardeners were stored in a dilapidated tool box. Gardeners cleared space in the garden, and purchased a Yardline shed from Costco. Gardeners painted the interior and exterior, designed a storage system, and sharpened and transferred tools into the shed. “This shed has given us a safe, secure, organized place to store items needed to maintain the garden for many years to come.”


Kearns High School Community Garden, 5525 Cougar Ln, Kearns
Volunteers and students built a garden shed that has provided storage and a focal point for garden sessions and a high school Botany=Horticulture class. 34


Rowland Hall Community Garden, 720 S. Guardsman Way, Salt Lake City
It was really magical watching a garden that has been struggling to create a sense of community and volunteerism, begin to come together and create something. When the shed was first delivered, we struggled to find a good time for everyone to get together for a work party long enough to make significant progress… Luckily, one of our incredible gardeners, Michele, had construction experience. She said that she could design and help us construct a platform for the shed to be anchored to. The crew that actually built the shed itself was a group of about eight women and they did it in three hours, in 100+ degree heat. They were incredible! There’s definitely a stronger sense of pride now among the volunteers about Steiner Community Garden, not to mention finally having a covered place to store tools and equipment.



Mountain View Community Garden, 8050 S 300 E, Midvale
“The land we are developing has rights to irrigation water which runs adjacent to the site, but we had no way to access this water in order to bring it to our large-garden plots…. In addition to the main diversion box, we installed 280 feet of pipeline and constructed four additional concrete yard boxes….While this project is still under development, we have been working with the City of Midvale Communities Building Communities Department to identify local immigrant families that would be good candidates to garden in these plots…. We are currently preparing to plow and harrow the entire site…for gardening in 2016.”


Vegetable Mining Operation, 3200 S 3200 W, West Valley City
The Vegetable Mining Operation used mini-grants funds to purchase an ADA-accessible picnic table. Since the purchase was made at the end of the summer, the picnic table was stored in the shed, to be installed spring 2016.
 susan_finlayson_2013_bee2dd3ddc7f83e2c4daf72397af2272Commentary by Susan Finlayson, WCG Community Garden Program Director.


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