Seed catalogues are coming in, and it’s time to think about our gardens, and renew not only our scents of the spring gardening soil but also our 2022 Sanford Community Gardening applications. The Garden is part of the David and Linda Pence Community Ecology Center at the McKeon Environmental Reserve in Springvale.
Mousam Way Land Trust, the Garden’s sponsor, has noticed increasing demand for these raised beds, so an expansion project has doubled the original size to 52, 4’x12’ beds. Also, gardeners have asked about the availability of smaller beds for their kids and grandkids, so the Trust is happy to announce the addition of 3’x5′ Kids Beds. These will be assigned to the adults who will supervise their young gardeners.
Speaking of kids: We’re excited to announce a collaboration with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and its “Kids Can Grow” program. Some of the Kids Beds will be reserved for this wonderful teaching project, overseen by the Extension’s Master Gardener Volunteer program. After completing an application, kids between 7-12 years old interested in learning gardening will be assigned a volunteer mentor, garden soil, seeds, and a 3’x5’ raised bed that will be installed at their home, or—if room is an issue—they use the Kids Can Grow beds at the Garden.
Again this season, thanks to generous support from Kennebunk Savings Bank, soil additives and pesticides—all certified for organic gardening use—along with applicator bottles, will be available for Community Gardening use, and securely stored in the tool shed, with hand tools, knee pads, gardening seats, and wheelbarrows. There’s a small patio table with chairs next to the large produce washing sink. An outdoor restroom is next to the Ecology Center.
This year’s plans include a pergola over the patio area to shade the summer sun; A large greenhouse—a gift from Springvale Nurseries!; A “Neighborhood Library” kiosk; A Pine Grove Picnic Area; And a nursery to support various Mousam Way Land Trust restoration, pollination, and meadow projects.
And don’t forget the 2 ½ miles of trails on the Reserve. These dog-friendly trails, which many gardeners have enjoyed, connect to Sanford’s wonderful Rail Trail, which in turn link to the nearby Rail Trail Park and 3 Rivers Land Trust’s Community Forest, a 550 acre tract of young forest with a challenging 3 ½ mile Loop Trail.
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