Vacant Pikes Peak Avenue lot becoming a ‘community garden’

       A community garden is taking shape in the 6,240-square-foot vacant lot at 2825 W. Pikes Peak Ave.

Several plot renters in the Old Colorado City Community Garden wave to the photographer (standing on the steps of a neighboring building) during a recent workday at the site.
Courtesy of Larry Stebbins

       All 18 plots have been leased in what's called the Old Colorado City Community Garden, according to Elise Miller, assistant director of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (PPUG), which organized the project over the winter.
       “Most of the people are from the Old Colorado City area,” she said, with a diversity including older, younger, single people and families. Some even live close enough to walk to the garden, Miller added.
       Preliminary improvements have already occurred at the garden and in most of its plots, with several people planning to come out Saturday, March 28 , to help erect a fence along the alley at the rear of the property.
       The unofficial day to start planting is April 15.
       “The neatest part about this is that these are people whose lives would never have touched and now they've got garden plots side by side,” said Larry Stebbins, PPUG director.
       The interest has been evident ever since January, when PPUG, a non-profit affiliate of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, held a meeting at the Old Colorado City Library. “The room was full and people were out in the hallway.” he said.
       The project came about when the property's owners contacted PPUG, which specializes in starting organic gardens, and offered to donate use of the land for at least three years. The agency has since lined up grant funding, arrangements for water (PPUG will buy it from a neighbor to fill a 500-gallon cistern on site) and help with wood and fencing costs. PPUG itself is chipping in about $1,300 to get the project going, Stebbins said.
       There is a waiting list for plots in the garden. For more information, call 651-3416.

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