Vacant lot to become a garden

       The vacant lot at 2825 W. Pikes Peak Ave. will become a community garden next summer. Elise Miller and Larry Stebbins of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens pose in the now-snowy vacant lot at 2825 W. Pikes Peak 
Ave. that they are helping turn into a community garden. 
Westside Pioneer photo
       Pikes Peak Urban Gardens (PPUG), which is organizing the project, has scheduled a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. at the Old Colorado City Library for people who might want to lease plots in the 90-by-52-foot space.
       Already, just from word of mouth, PPUG has heard from several interested people, according to Elise Miller, its assistant director. “I've told them, 'Bring your good ideas to the meeting,'” she said.
       A non-profit affiliate of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, PPUG specializes in helping people start organic gardens. The Pikes Peak Avenue effort, called the Old Colorado City Community Garden, started when the property's owners (the Lucas Family Trust) contacted PPUG and offered to donate use of the land for at least three years. One of the owners said the land was not developable and “they wanted it to be a community garden,” Miller said.
       Since then, the agency has 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. PPUG itself is chipping in over $700 to get the project going, including paying for insurance and a portion of water fees, and will provide consultation.
       “We figure that Old Colorado City and community garden, they go together,” Miller said. “I hope we get people who can walk there, that kind of thing.”
       Eventually, the PPUG goal is that those leasing plots should “take ownership” of the project so it can exist on its own, Miller said. “We're just there to act as guides… The challenge now is to get the community involved and on board.”
       In all, the garden will have 14 plots of 12 by 12 feet each. PPUG will also provide “hoop tunnels” to allow three growing seasons.
       “Gardeners will pay $50 to lease a plot and partake in the planning and construction of the garden,” Miller said. “PPUG is sponsoring two plots for those who may be economically challenged.”
       An RSVP for the meeting is requested. For more information, call PPUG at 651-3416 or e-mail elise@ppugardens.org.

Westside Pioneer article