Garfield County ponies up for senior garden |

Garfield County ponies up for senior garden

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A plan to establish a dozen senior citizen-accessible gardening plots at the Glenwood Springs Community Garden earned the financial backing of Garfield County commissioners on Monday.

The Garfield Board of County Commissioners agreed to allocate $13,300 from the county’s discretionary funds to help establish the site.

The senior gardens are to be included as part of the larger community garden on the Wulfsohn Mountain Park open space, located just south of the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

“We do have a lot of interest from our seniors who want to be able to do gardening,” Garfield County Senior Programs Manager Judy Martin said. “There’s also an interest in eating more healthy, and fresh produce is a part of that.”

Martin said she often hears from seniors who move into senior housing or assisted living situations that they miss not being able to garden.

Recently, she has been working with representatives from the Glenwood community garden board to help provide some opportunity for the seniors she works with to be able to garden.

“We already have a core group of about 15 or 20 ready to go,” she said. A senior transportation van that was recently purchased by the county will be used to take senior citizens to and from the site.

Extra produce from the gardens could also be used to supplement the county’s senior meals program, she said.

“We’re thrilled with the prospect of being able to get this up and going this year,” said Marilee Rippy, representing the Glenwood Springs Community Garden organization.

Added community garden committee member Becky Ciani, “There is also value for seniors to be able to get out in the sunshine and socialize with other people.”

Local landscape architect John Taufer has been working on design plans to level an area at the northwest corner of the community garden to accommodate 12 plots that are to be set aside for seniors.

The 4- by 8-foot raised beds will be at a height that is more easily accessed by seniors, with three feet of space in between each plot, he explained to the commissioners at the Monday meeting.

Proponents came up with a cost estimate of $26,433 to complete the project. However, some of that cost is expected to be covered through in-kind donations, Rippy said. Other grant possibilities are also being explored, she said.

Rippy was also recently before Glenwood Springs City Council presenting the proposal for the senior garden, and plans to give another update at council’s Jan. 19 meeting. The community garden is located on city property.

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