Lee’s Summit parks department to open community garden next spring

rpulley@lsjournal.comJuly 5, 2013 

Lee’s Summit’s parks department is opening a community garden next year for residents who want to rent a plot to give themselves more space to grow vegetables or flowers.

Tom Lovell, parks administrator, said the park board recently approved the project after favorable responses to a department survey about the idea. The initial garden will be at Sylvia Bailey Farm Park on Ranson Road.

Gary Welty, superintendent of park construction, said initially the garden would have 48 plots measuring 10-feet by 10-feet.

“The gardens will be constructed this fall and winter and should be available for the 2014 growing season. The cost per season will be $25 and as there are a limited number of plots, we would encourage those interested to reserve their space now,” Welty said.

Plans for the garden include a perimeter fence, the department would provide water and hoses and a shed for gardeners to store hand tools.

Because the department is just getting the program underway, it is in the process of finalizing design and deciding on rules for the garden, such as whether pesticides can be used, Welty said.

The department’s survey got responses from 171 participants.

The results:

• 64.3 percent of respondents are interested in Community Gardens

• 66.7 percent had friends or neighbors who would be interested

• 78.9 percent were interested in a 10-feet by 10-feet plot

• 49.7 percent thought a cost per season to be in the $10 to $20 range

• 67.9 percent would travel up to five miles to use the garden

Respondents also could make comments on the survey, Lovell said.

Several said they’d prefer to garden closer to home in a location such as the downtown area or in a neighborhood park.

If the project becomes popular enough, Lovell said, the department will consider expansion to corners of neighborhood parks to make access to plots more convenient.

Some respondents also were asking whether there would be a knowledgeable person to help beginners. For that reason the department also is looking for a volunteer who will help coordinate activity and give advice to novice gardeners, Lovell said.

Call 816-969-1500 to reserve and pay for a plot or for additional questions about the garden, call Welty at 816-969-1532.

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