The Orion

Students use green thumbs, grow new community garden

A+map+of+the+community+gardens+located+throughout+Chico.+Photo+credit%3A+Amanda+Hovik
A map of the community gardens located throughout Chico. Photo credit: Amanda Hovik

A map of the community gardens located throughout Chico. Photo credit: Amanda Hovik

A map of the community gardens located throughout Chico. Photo credit: Amanda Hovik


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View GRUB Chico Community Gardens in a larger map
A map of the community gardens located throughout Chico.

Students played a role in planting Chico’s newest community garden, Oak Way Park, which will open Saturday at the corner of West Eighth and Nord avenues.

“There’s a lot of other gardeners that want to help you and teach you how to garden, because it’s difficult to grow some things, and it’s nice to get that help,” said Shaun Strang, senior communications major and the coordinator for the Oak Way Community Garden.

Working on the gardens is a great learning opportunity but it’s not for everybody, Strang said.

“Chico has such an amazing sense of community that being a part of a garden and people growing their own food and doing it together is really an amazing thing,” said Jenna Poell, a Chico State alumnus and coordinator for the Humboldt Community Garden. “Butte Environmental Council brings a lot of people together.”

Stephanie Elliott, executive director of Growing Resourcefully United Bellies in Chico, has worked with the organization the past four years to create 25 different gardens in Butte County, with most in Chico.

“A lot of them are still going,” Elliott said. “Some have come and gone. Some have changed hands and kind of formation throughout the year, but they’re all so different in their own, which is really fun to see how they all taken on their own life.”

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program works together with Growing Resourcefully United Bellies to raise money for the gardens, she said. However, the block grant program will be closing in a couple of months.

The grant also helps provide funding for workshops held at a low cost or for free to the community. The Butte Environmental Council sometimes offers options for people with low incomes so that anyone can afford a garden spot.

“People really want garden spaces,” Elliott said. “Seeing other people’s dreams come into formation with vegetables is really cool.”

A deposit for a 15-by-15 foot plot on the Humboldt and Oak Way gardens is $55. It’s $115 for a 25-by-25 foot plot.

Five small plots and two large plots are for sale on a first come, first serve basis.

Amanda Hovik can be reached at [email protected] or @AmandaHovik on Twitter.

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Students use green thumbs, grow new community garden