Community vegetable gardens will take root in local parks next week

The popularity and success of last year's community garden in Civic Center Park (check it out -- it even garnered a Westword Best of award) led the non-profit "Go Local Colorado" to think even bigger. This year, the group, in conjunction with Denver Parks & Recreation, the Parks Stewardship Program and Volunteers of Outdoor Colorado, is plotting an additional four gardens at local parks around town.

"We are moving ahead, and it's really kind of spectacular," says Go Local director Dana Miller. The four new gardens, which will grow an army of produce, including peppers, tomatoes, chard, broccoli, corn, edible flowers and other items, will sprout in Berkeley Park, Highlands Park and Highlands Gateway; Civic Center Park will host two gardens.

Plantings are slated for next Wednesday, May 19 at 4:30 p.m. at Highlands Park and Highlands Gateway Park; 5 p.m. at Civic Center Park; and 5:30 p.m. at Berkeley Park. The project is relying on volunteers to plant and tend the gardens. Several dozen people showed up for last weekend's volunteer orientation, Miller says.

The purpose of the gardens is threefold, explains Miller. "They are to demonstrate how beautiful edible landscaping can be, to encourage people to start growing their own food and to provide some healthy food for communities in need."

One hundred percent of the gardens' produce will go to area food banks and other organizations that help people in need.

Miller hopes to expand the project, adding more gardens in the coming years. "I really foresee next year having a room with hundreds of people in it," she predicts.

For more information, contact Miller at 303-300-3547, e-mail golocalcolorado@gmail.com or go to Go Local Colorado's website.

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