September 25, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Urban Gardens Debut in Parks

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board will begin offering an Adopt-An-Urban Garden Program (AUGP) beginning Thursday, October 1, with the registration of its first 60 garden plots at the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park.

In-Person registration for the 60 plots will begin at 8 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 1 at both the Park Board Offices, 1923 N. Weller Ave., and the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park, 3825 W. Farm Road 146, and will be first-come, first-served. Any remaining plots will then be available by phone registration by calling the Park Board Offices at (417) 864-1049 beginning Oct. 2, or by visiting in person.

The AUGP is the first of its kind through the Park Board. Plot sizes are eight-feet by 16-feet, for $25 per season; 16-feet by 16-feet, for $40 per season. The growing season is March 1 through October 31 each year. Season renewals will be first offered each December to existing participants. Plots cannot be resold or sub-leased by any individuals or group. The Park Board provides soil, fencing, water access, and a sign for each plot.

All food grown is the property of each plot’s owner. Each participant is responsible for maintaining weed control, providing all seeds and other equipment required to grow a garden and removing debris at the end of the growing season.

“The goal of the new Urban Gardens program is to offer a space for people to grow fruits, vegetables,  or flowers, who otherwise don’t immediately have the space available in their own backyard, said Parks Director Jodie Adams. “They will also offer an opportunity for youth field trips to see and participate in a working garden, along with generally providing fellowship with others and recreational, exercise and therapeutic benefits to our community.”

The Park Board will use the Rutledge-Wilson Farm as its AUGP pilot site throughout 2010.

An AUGP guide and application is available directly on the Park Board’s Web site at http://bit.ly/4zy8TG  or www.parkboard.org. Applications are subject to staff review and condition. Call the Park Board’s main office at (417) 864-1049 for more information.

Note to Media: The garden plot dividers and new parking area for the gardens are currently under construction on the far northeast side of the property. Access is available off of Farm Road 142, west of Will Fischer Distributer.

For more information, media contact: Jodie Adams, Parks Director, (417) 864-1329; or Amy Dooley, Farm Park Coordinator, (417) 837-5944.